Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“Lord, help me.” Prayer is such a simple thing, really and we choose to complicate it and make it more difficult than it is or should become. Rather than simply turning to God or turning to our Mother Mary and saying or offering a prayer of help, petition or thanksgiving, we make prayer a burden and a chore. At times, we make prayer so time bound and associate prayer with time we do not have or precious time we cannot take for time is busy and busy is what we are all of the time. We even say time is money and we simply cannot afford the time to pray. We say I have no time for prayer or prayer is a waste of time or even believe that prayer occupies too much of our time. At times, we want to mouth out words ever so quickly, so many words, so many different prayers, when simply saying “Lord, help me” or “I love you Lord” or “Thanks be to God” would do if we had nothing else to add or to say or could not find the words or the time. Prayer is helpful. Praying to God is useful. Not praying is useless for who can help us when we are helpless unless we become helpless and say a prayer like “Lord, please help me” or “O God come to my assistance” or “Lord, make haste to help me.” Prayer is so efficacious when we choose to pray from the heart and we can abandon ourselves to the prayer. Prayer is so much more than empty words we choose to recite or say. Prayer is individual, a relationship, a necessity. Prayer is presence. Praying places us in the presence of the One who chooses to listen to us, who is happy to respond to us and graciously provides the answer and grace we need, hope for, or desire. Praying with the Lord must become intentional in your life. We should want to pray simply because we want to and need to be with the Lord or simply because you are aware of God’s profound love for you and praying is how you lovingly respond. Being fully active and present in prayer is helpful but our Lord understands how busy and tired you are so Jesus at times rests and prays in you and for you. What a great gift prayer is. It is a great blessing, an amazing grace, a profound privilege to enter into God’s presence and to be able to say anything.