Why pray at all? Does it make any difference?
The son of St. Monica, St. Augustine, wrote one line about God in his in his famous work, Confessions that seems to make sense to a lot of people who pray: “You have made us for yourself O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
I think a lot of us, especially young people, can struggle with believing in God or understanding what life is all about. Life is often made so busy and crazy that there isn’t much time to give it any thought. As a result prayer, particularly Christian prayer, doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. Yet at the same time this struggle with belief in God is often juxtaposed with a life filled with anxiety, depression, and a sense of life having no meaning or purpose. Life will always be difficult and challenging but it can still be one that is filled with peace, love, and a mission and purpose that will bring you more fulfillment than you ever imagined.
We can look to the title of the first two chapters of USCCB Catholic Catechism for Adults to get us moving in the right direction. They at least start to answer the question of why pray at all. The first chapter is a quote from Psalm 42 that was captured by St. Augustine in his famous quote and is entitled “My Soul Longs for You, O God…” and the second chapter states clearly and distinctly “God Comes to Meet Us”.
I think we pray in order to enter into a deeper friendship with a God who loves us. For prayer to make a difference, you and I have to give Him some space to come into our lives, to at least give God a chance to enter into our restless hearts.
Peace, Fr. Todd