Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Gospels like today’s can pull me into a trap if I’m not careful. A widow is crying because her only son is dead. Losing a child is one tragedy, but in the ancient world if you didn’t have children to care for you, you were also pretty much considered dead. So, her entire life was over, she had no one to care for her, and she probably felt like it was not only her son she was putting in the grave, but herself as well.
But the Lord knocks on the casket and says “get up, you’re awake, why were you playing dead and scaring everyone.” Okay, he was a little more tactful than that. He raises her son from the dead and saves her life.
That’s the good part, so where’s the trap? The trap is thinking that every time we ask the Lord for a miracle He’ll answer with that exact answer. Almost everyone who asks for healing or saving in the Gospels receives it. In fact, I can’t think of a single situation where that didn’t happen.
So here’s the trap. I ask for healing and miracles and saving too...and my prayers don’t seem to be answered. If I look at only these stories for the answer, then I might tend to think that I’m doing something wrong. Healing for a family member with cancer. Conversion for those closest to me so they’ll know the truth and grace that I do. Comfort in the form of a friend or a spouse for the loneliness that can creep in.
These prayers are not immediately answered with a knock on the casket to say “Get up, why were you sleeping.” The answer is slower.
Why isn’t this written about in the Gospels? I don’t know. What I do know is that it happened. For every young widow who lost her son that Jesus raised from the dead, there are 10 more who buried their sons that day who felt alone and abandoned by God. They weren’t alone and abandoned. God was still there with them.
Even when our prayers aren't answered how we want, God is still with us. He never leaves us.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
How do I fall into the trap of thinking God isn't listening to my prayers?
In what ways has my trust in God's love for me been shaken because of seemingly unanswered prayers?
How can I begin to trust more in God and trust in his process to answer me when I pray?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I know you are listening."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Thank you for answering my prayers."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take time today to simply pray, "Jesus, I trust in you." Pray it often throughout the day- in the times that are hard and that are easy. The more you place your trust in the Lord, the more that trust will grow.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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