prayer & reality

A podcast reflection on prayer as engagement with reality.

In this reflection I share some of the most helpful advice ever given to me about prayer. I hope you find it as encouraging as I have.

NB: A technical hitch means that the transcript (which I usually prepare after recording a podcast) is not available today. My apologies to those who prefer to read.

An Invitation:

  • In the “comment” section below you might like to share in a few words the most helpful encouragement ever given to you about prayer.
  • Today’s LEGO artwork: the Palm Tree in this Last Supper scene is a reminder of Palm Sunday.

19 Responses to "prayer & reality"
  1. Thank you Fr John for your time spent in putting this podcast together. Your personal honesty in regards to prayer has been very encouraging. Prayer is a bit of a mystery at times. For me it is not to become disheartened by my approach and to continue to be real in my reality.

  2. What a beautiful way to deepen the desire to desire – to set apart a time alone with Jesus everyday and bring my reality into this special set time. Listening to the repeated gentle reminder Fr John – God receives me as I am, my reality.

  3. Thank you for this mornings podcast. As children we are taught prayers, sometimes with words we do not know the meaning. As we mature we TALK to God with an abundant release, done frequently our relationship grows. The times I begged and the Lord opted not to answer my prayers are the times I now look back on aware without these periods in my life I would not be the person I am today. He also had my attention when things got hard. Now my prayer is for the strength to accept his will even when to going is rough.

  4. Thank you Father John for these reflections during this time of Lent and Lock down. For me Jesus is closest when I observe nature at the beach where the tide ebbs and flows quietly or violently, a sunset, a Rainbow suggests Jesus in full Glory. I am blessed to have the sight to enjoy these gifts and talk with Him. Nature grounds my thinking and gives comfort knowing Jesus is with me always. Ann

  5. Thank you for the valuable insight about prayer and the reassurance of being real. I look forward to further reflections on prayer. Have a blessed day.

  6. Fr John, your reflection reminds me of Mary “pondering and treasuring in her heart” the realities of her own life. Prayer is not what I do, but what I allow God to do in me. Like Mary, “be it done unto me according to your word”.

  7. Wow! This session along with yesterday’s session has bought my attention for my longing to have a time for a 10 day retreat. A promise I have not kept for myself for the 5 or more years. Even in this time of lockdown my time has been full of garden projects, cell phone time and rest. Full of its healing and joys.
    However, your pod casts were very timely!!! Abundant blessings Joanne. In anticipation of my day in my Garden and rest today I will be …..noticing time I can intentionally open my window and invite God into my attention today!!!

  8. St Theresa of Lisieux encouraged me to understand the simplicity of the heart of prayer.
    In her Autobiography, “The Story of a Soul”, she expressed her ‘little ways’ of living her daily life in the Carmelite Convent by doing small things with a great love for God.
    St Theresa’s Spirituality was an integral part of the Gospels. Her humility and gentleness gifted her the grace ‘to see the face of God in the people and experiences of life and to love with all her heart’.
    St Therese of Lieusex/The Roses, offered me remarkable encouragement to pray with confidence when I left school and embarked on a new chapter of my life.
    I will always honor her beautiful life. +

  9. Such encouragement Father John after my 20 minutes of silent reflection this morning which was more like a game of ping pong, my mind flitting all over the place!
    So looking forward to your reflections over these next days…
    God bless you in the work that you do!

  10. As a six year old I remember asking my mother to teach me to pray. She said “You already know all the prayers I know: the Our Father, The Hail Mary, the Glory Be, the Angelis, the Gloria…” That little child knew there was more to prayer than rote formulas; prayer is relational communication between us and God. I thank God that He stepped in and answered my desire for relationship with Him. For well over 50 years we have been meeting and talking day by day, in all manner of forms of prayer. He is the air I breathe. Just the thought of not having Him in my life makes me feel like I’m suffocating (& as an asthmatic I know what it’s like to not be able to breathe). Thank you Fr John for adding even more food for faith and prayer. God bless you as you share your faith journey in this way that offers nourishment for our personal faith journeys.

  11. It is good to be reminded of the difference between meditation and prayer. Jesus entering into my reality ooening me up to the bigger reality of God. Being real with my struggles with Him and experiencing his prsence with me brings peace deep within even if I am confronted with maybe my sins or missed opportunities. I am relishing having more space and time now that my life has had to be simplified for health reasons. In all the uncertainty change and adjustment I am not alone.

  12. An INVITATION to Abundant life. Isaiah 55 (prayer and reality)

    I had a totally unexpected experience of this Chapter after praying with a dying man in hospital.

    Thank you Fr. John for the memory.

    • I just rang a good friend. I said to him with these lockdown days I feel like I am on a retreat. A time of reflection. We both said we are praying a lot more . We still have our usual everyday things to do. The online Mass, online stations of the cross been a great support and help keep my eyes on Jesus. I have made it my mission to ring a few people each day, a friend, a neighbour, a person alone or lonely , a family member. And a text or email is good too. And I have enjoyed the interaction too. God bless all those helping us in essential services.

  13. I’ll use a couple of your words Father if you don’t mind. I like them because they allow me to be who I am – “The only place I can meet God is where I am and how I am.”

  14. Making me listen to the podcast instead of reading it as usual, was a godsend! I will listen to these from now on – the pace allows me to think and reflect as it proceeds, like the best dish to be savoured in little spoonfuls. Thanks Father John.

  15. Thank you. I look forward to the 20 minute prayer reflections. Prayer is sometimes unfathomable, I never know if I’m doing it ‘right’…

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