“Seek a relationship when you pray, not answers. You won’t always find answers, but you will always find Jesus.” ~ Father Mike Schmitz
Relationships. They are so important in our lives. Parents watch their children when they develop and they attempt to make sure that their children are hitting certain developmental marks: growth, weight, coordination, speech, and socialization. If they are not hitting the marks in any area, they often seek the advice of experts in order to help their children develop.
Relationships are important because they reflect how we interact with our world. Some relationships are superficial at best. Other relationships are based upon using another person rather than true interaction with another. The kind of relationship that is most important to our development, though, is the relationship that respects another, that can give and take, and that can be comfortable in the presence of another.
Schmitz reminds us that we are to seek a relationship with Jesus when we pray. If all we do is look for answers when we pray, we are not opening ourselves up to the depths that we can have in a true relationship with the Lord. Instead, we keep ourselves at an acquaintance level with Jesus rather than a relationship.
But, when we seek a relationship with Jesus in prayer, we become comfortable sitting with the Lord without demanding any answers or, for that matter, anything. Some of my most profound relationships with others have been the kind that allowed the depth of presence with one another. I have had some friends whom I have been comfortable saying absolutely nothing. Words were not important. Presence was. Because in silence, a lot was communicated.
It is that way with prayer. When we develop a relationship with Jesus, we do not use many words. We merely sit with Him in a profound silence that allows our souls to open up and communicate with God. We may speak to Him briefly and spontaneously such as a reverent “Thank you, Lord!” when we see an awesome sunrise or sunset.
When we are comfortable with Jesus, when our relationship is solid, we can say just as easily, “Help me, Lord.” The person who is not comfortable with another generally cannot ask for help. But if our relationship with God is a good one, we do not fear asking for help.
Lent is about removing obstacles in our lives and drawing closer to God. Prayer is about developing a relationship with the Lord than helps us to draw strength from Him.
FAITH ACTION: Examine your prayer life and determine what you might need to change to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus.