When We Pray–Encounter with the Living God

Prayer is a quiet communication between a person and the loving God, who hears and understands and responds. Quiet and stillness lets one taste the love of God. No age, and no religion which acknowledges the Supreme Being is ever found without prayer as a central and key dimension in its spiritual life. Rather, prayer is recognized as the area that should permeate the whole of one’s life. I have often said that it is the sine qua non, the central hallmark of the spiritual life, especially of Carmelite life. Therefore, one must make a conscious decision to cultivate a solid interior life through prayer. After all, there are unconscious pulls away from any building up of the spiritual life. Thus, one must learn to be still before God. (Be still and know that I am God!) Whether in primitive, medieval or modern times, this was and is for the Christian an absolute necessity, for not to pray is to commit spiritual suicide. Over the years I have preached this fact to all who are willing to listen, because I believe that without prayer one’s spiritual life simply cannot grow; rather, if it is forgotten, it simply atrophies and dies.

Where is your place of quiet and stillness that allows you to enter into the ‘Presence of God” and allows you to pray?
What resources do you have to secure your personal prayer life: Time? Place? Readings, etc.
How do you detect that your prayer is real and fruitful? What are your indicators?

We invite you to share your responses in the comments below.

Ivan Cormac Marsh
Fr. Ivan Cormac Marsh has worked extensively in ministry on the parish, university, retreat center and seminary levels. He has a doctorate in the area of spirituality and ministry and lectures on spiritual direction in the United States and Canada. He lives in Tucson, AZ.
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