This week we continue in our series, Prayer, The Best Kept Secret. It was recently during the violence in Virginia that a blogger made this comment, “We don’t need more prayers, what we need is new laws of reform.” This was written in response to an announcement that prayers were being said all over the United States for the healing of our nation. My first reaction to this statement was that, if prayers had been increased and our nation returned to prayer, as they once had, perhaps we would not be regressing to such acts of hatred. This is why I say, prayer is the best kept secret. As a whole, we see a direct correlation between the coldness of people’s hearts and the diminishing action of prayer in the lives of many.
In this article, I would like to suggest the highest form of prayer is simply that of praise and adoration to the Lord, Our God, calling out his name with reverence and all the holy qualities that make Him who He is. The Lord is holy, majestic, worthy of all praise, beautiful, with endless mercy, self-emptying love, etc. The list could go on and on of all the beautiful ways to vocally and mentally express our worship of our Lord.
In the 9th chapter of John, we hear the story of the man who was born blind. Only after the interaction with Jesus, was the man able to see. Consequently, because he acknowledged this miraculous gift that Jesus had given him, he was expelled from the synagogue. Jesus searched him out and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The blind man answered, “Who is he, sir that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.” The blind man responded, “I do believe, Lord.” And he worshipped Jesus.
The story of Jesus’ interaction with the blind man teaches us that if by His grace our eyes are opened, and He has searched us out to reveal Himself to us, then our only response can be that of proclaiming, “Yes, Lord, I do believe.” And by this belief we will be led into deeper praise and worship of Him in thanksgiving for the countless gifts He has given to us.
Jesus also told the blind man, “I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see might see, and those that do see might become blind.” Seeing Christ clearly will only happen when we as individuals, as church congregations and as whole communities get down on our hands and knees in sincere prayer, worshipping our Lord. And by worshipping Christ, we will be led into seeing Him clearly which will bring the healing we need for ourselves and our families and the nation as a whole.
Taken from Psalm 66:
Shout joyfully to God, all you on earth
Sing of his glorious name; give him glorious praise.
Say to God: “How awesome are your deeds! Before your great strength, your enemies cringe.
All on earth fall and worship before you; they sing of you, sing of your name!”
Come and see the works of God, awesome in the deeds done for us.
He changes sea to dry land; through the rivers they passed on foot, therefore, let us rejoice in Him,
Who rules by might forever, whose eyes are fixed upon the nations. Let no rebel rise to challenge!
May God give you peace,
Fr. Ronald Hilt