Find time to pray, even on vacation
June 09, 2010 - Summer vacation is on everyone's mind and many of us have already done plenty of planning for the upcoming months.
Oceans, lakes, mountains, beaches, amusement parks…the number of ways to enjoy vacation are as numerous and varied as there are people.
However, if I were to make a list of all the activities people are planning for the summer, I'm sure one would not make it on the list: praying. I admit, fun in the sun and prayer don't seem to have very much in common.
But spiritual matters don't take a vacation, so I'd like to offer a couple of random thoughts in the hope of provoking at least a little bit of thought about prayer.
Two common reasons we don't pray are that we don't know how and that there's no time for it.
The truth is: anyone who knows how to talk knows how to pray. Prayer is simply a conversation with a close friend.
Of course, prayer is a different type of conversation because it requires believing in someone we don't see. Then again, we don't usually see the person we're talking to on the phone, but we hear the sound of their voice and know that they are there.
God also speaks and one of the ways he does so is through the world that we see around us. Maybe a comparison can help.
Just like we get an indication of the personality of the architect when we see one of his buildings, so too we get a glimpse of God's greatness when we see the things he created.
It would be absurd to see a skyscraper and conclude that the steel beams and glass windows happened to be blown together by a random gust of wind.
No, the skyscraper was well planned and carefully constructed. So, too, when we see the sun, or examine the order of our solar system, we can perceive the personality of the one who created them.
In prayer we can talk to him. We don't necessarily hear his voice, but we can reasonably conclude that if he's clever enough to create the moon and stars, he also knows our thoughts.
Secondly, are we really too busy to pray? I read some interesting statistics a couple of months ago that could give us some perspective about the use of our time.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the average NFL broadcast is about three hours long, including the advertising.
The number of minutes in which the players were in action was just under 11 minutes. Besides advertising, the rest of the time was spent showing players standing around (67 minutes) and replays (17 minutes). In other words, there is a lot of "down time", even in a typical football game.
Compared to those statistics, does it seem unrealistic to take a few minutes a day during the summer "down time" to pray?
These are only a couple of random thoughts. If you've just spent a few minutes thinking about God or prayer, know that he's thinking about you and that you really do have a few moments every day to pray.
Fr. Daniel Pajerski, LC, is Formation Director for Everest Academy.