Prayer for the Day on the National Day of Prayer

O God, the King eternal,
who divides the day from the night
and turns the shadow of death into the morning:
Drive far from us all wrong desires,
incline our hearts to keep your law,
and guide our feet into the way of peace;
that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day,
we may, when night comes,
rejoice to give you thanks;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The call of prayer is to listen

Nonetheless, it is possible that, even in prayer itself, we could refuse to let ourselves be confronted by the freedom of the Spirit, who acts as he wills. We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen: to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways. Only if we are prepared to listen, do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas, our usual habits and ways of seeing things. In this way, we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. It is not enough that everything be calm and peaceful. God may be offering us something more, but in our comfortable inadvertence, we do not recognize it. — Pope Francis, APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS  IN TODAY’S WORLD

Too often our mantra is, “Listen, Lord, for your servant is speaking!” We need to say more often, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

The dangerous prayer

The prayer of forgiveness is the dangerous prayer. It is the most shocking action taken by God.

Instead of forgiveness, our generation has been taught the vague notion of tolerance. The is, at best, a low-grade parody of forgiveness. At worst, it’s a way of sweeping the real issues in human life under the carpet. If the father (in the story of the Prodigal Son) had intended merely to tolerate the son, he would not have been running down the road to meet him. Forgiveness is richer and higher and harder and more shocking than we usually think. — NT Wright, The Lord and His Prayer

Jesus came and made forgiveness an action. He made it real time. Those who received the forgiveness of God were then given a shocking task: practice it on others.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Thank God we don’t pray, “Tolerate us as we tolerate those among us who just aren’t thinking the same as us!”

Forgiveness is powerful and it has been extended to us. The task is to now extend it to others.

Pray dangerous prayers!