JAM with God

 JAM with God

Prayer is nothing but surrender. It’s the placing of our will, desires and thoughts into the hands of God Almighty and then resting them in Him. The problem lies in the ‘resting in Him part’ for the waiting period is toughest.  I was brought up in a home where prayer formed an integral part of our day. My parents are people of deep faith and prayer. My mum, like most expressive mothers, reminds me that she prays for me and I believe that she does. She along with many other people often reminds me how much they pray for priests.  Yesterday I experienced the collective power of prayer once again.

I am no gadget geek and technology terrifies me. Like many, I hate any one tampering with the settings on my gadgets.  Most of my technologically challenged life is reduced to three uncomplicated steps that help me operate one of these modern marvels that never seem to stop getting more marvellous, often by the second.

Yesterday technological terror visited me again; my computer screen froze. I tried the little tricks I have been taught and mechanically I went about attempting to fix a frozen screen.  Step One, press and hold the “Ctrl,” “Alt” and “Del” keys in that order and select the Task Manager when the screen changes. Step two, on the “Applications” tab, see if any programs are listed as “Not Responding.” Step three, select the frozen program and click “End Task.” Nothing happened!

I threw my hands up in despair. It was time to give up and send a message by whatsap to the recipients of my blog; their daily dose of spiritual insight was not coming through today. The devil it seemed had taken over my laptop.  Out went my first whatsap message, “computer crashed, no blog today”. Within seconds my phone began beeping like a car backing up at rapid speed. Messages that ranged from sad emoticons to words of support and yes even promises to pray.

My phone must have hit two hundred odd messages in five minutes flat when ‘just like that’ the computer screen lit up. It was as if by some miracle a heart monitor beeped to life minutes after the doctors declared the time of death.  My computer lives again, Alleluia.

All at once I felt it, a feeling of being held by many prayers. This was the power of intercessory prayer. Sure it may sound trivial to some and I am sure some kid smarter than me can provide a damn good logical explanation; but I felt that collective support of prayer.

Ever so often I get messages from friends and family, parishioners and passer-by’s; their parting words are always, “Pray for me”. As I walk away I have learnt to say a prayer, a line or a few words of surrender there and then. Days later I receive messages of thanks for my prayers, the petition was granted. Was it my prayer that really moved God’s heart or was it the faith of the person? I believe it is both. 

Scripture tells us of the paralytic who was brought through the roof so that Jesus could lay his hands on him and heal him. Did the paralytic want the healing? Did he believe in Jesus as the Messiah? Did he have any faith at all? We will never know the answer to this but we most certainly know the faith of his companions who lowered him through the roof. If they did not have faith why else would they lower him? They believed for their friend, they interceded for perhaps a non-believer and their prayers were answered.

I struggled and still struggle with prayer. By nature I am a fidget and sitting still is a problem.  As seminarians we were encouraged to spend an hour in personal prayer besides community prayer. One hour was too much for me, my mind would wander and guilt would rack me for I felt I could not give my Jesus even an hour of total concentration. I felt somehow that I was unworthy of His love.

Not any more, while I strive to spend that time in prayer, my day today is filled with many little moments of thanksgiving and petition; together they number many hours. There are things I see and praise God for, there are petitions whispered and I whisper them right back in God’s ears and then there are moments of thanksgiving for favours received.

Yesterday I experienced the collective power of prayer and I saw the miracle of intercessory prayer right before my eyes. Like most people, we desire to be with the Lord, like most people our desire is often overcome by the million chores of the day. Give God all your spare moments and they will number several hours in His sight. JAM ( Just A Minute)with God. Your prayer right now will turn on a heart monitor, find food for a starving person, heal a broken heart, change the course of a nation or simply turn on a computer.

Fr Warner D’Souza

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