Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Power of Prayer

For the past several years, I have tried to set aside time once a month to pray a novena to St. Therese for 9 days. This novena is a most powerful prayer and while it takes about 15 minutes a day to pray it, it is a very small investment for the return, if I may speak of prayer in those terms. You might think it would be a challenge to come up with a different intention to pray for every month but you'd be surprised how easily several come to mind. Sometimes, I pray the novena for someone I don't see very often or hear much about. It isn't until I hear of some suprising news about them that I recall having prayed the novena for them.

To date, I've prayed for a co-worker struggling with infertility, a cousin battling brain cancer, another cousin battling colon cancer, two relatives struggling with addictions, and countless other people in need of prayer. On Friday, I was stunned to learn that a relative who has been in and out of jail and battling drug addiction was in a halfway house and expected to be released in December. He's been cleaner than he has for many years and doing remarkably well. I was embarassed that I didn't know about this sooner so I could offer thanks to St. Therese for her glorious intercession. When my mother relayed the news to me about this relative, I told her how I had prayed to St. Therese on his behalf. I was disappointed in her response. "You know" she said "you should really save your powerful prayers for emergencies". I had to remind her that God is not a politician with a limited tolerance for doing favors but a loving Father of infinite mercy who wants His children to come to Him with their needs.

Prayer is not always easy for me. I'm the poster-child for adult ADD when it comes to concentrating on the words I'm saying, and I often catch myself drifting somewhere else. I wouldn't dare to presume that I pray any harder than anyone else. What I do have in my favor is the complete confidence that God listens and wants to give us things, especially those things that will help us better conform to His will. I also know that we can do nothing without Him, whatever else we might think, and that when we call to Him, He doesn't see a wretched sinner but a child who is much loved. I also know that prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments are the most powerful weapons we have against sin and vice. Yet they are often the last resort for the desperate rather than a steady diet for the faithful.

Remember that saying, God helps those who help themselves? It's true. We can't just sit back and do nothing and expect God to handle everything. There are those situations, however, when the only way we can help ourselves is to pray and we should never lose sight of this.


  1. Are you speaking of the Little Flower-Saint Terese? I am glad you reminded me about that novena!
    Also I would like to invite you to a holy hour at St.Monica's on Sunday at 7PM. Father Check has these once a month (this will be the first one this year), and we do the Divine Mercy in song, it is a lovely hour, not well known about yet...feel free to spread the word!

  2. Thank you so much Kelly, is the Holy Hour this coming Sunday? I would love to come if I can. I will post something about it here, tho I don't think I have many readers just yet!! I usually post to my Facebook page so I'll do both.

    Yes, I am referring to the Little Flower. The Novena is called "Joy in Suffering" and I got it at the Carmelite Monastery a few years ago. I loved it so much I ordered it in bulk from Tan Books (tho I need to restock) and I leave the booklets in different churches and shrines for people to take. It is a most powerful novena.



  3. Dear Joyce,

    Yes! It is this Sunday. Pray we are all well and can make it! Speaking of wellness, I pray also that your son is recovering!

    My husband, daughter and I are providing the music for the holy hour,(also for the 5PM mass that precedes it) It would be lovely if you could come.

    I have a novena to the Little Flower also, but I don't recall it being called "joy in suffering". I have to go find it now and look...


Comments which reflect true Christian charity are always welcome. Comments which attack the Pope, the Church, priests or other bloggers will go in the dustbin, especially if they are anonymous. Thank you and God Bless you!