If you are rushed, tired, angry, or in great pain when you pray, you might find that your prayers are more general than specific. For example, “Please, Lord, take away my pain,” or “Please help all those who are suffering.”
It’s good to place all our petitions to God in prayer, but even more effective to move from the general to the specific – when we pray and when we meditate on the feelings and meanings behind those prayers.
If we accept our lives and our physical conditions as our burdens and crosses to bear, what pain do we want the Lord to take away? The emotional pain of physically hurting? The twinges in our hinges?
If we have true compassion for people, especially those less fortunate or more ill than we are, what kind of help do we want the Lord to impart? Greater strength of will and hope? Tangible relief from poverty, hunger, and violence?
Once we better define our prayers, we can gain more insight into our spirits and character, as well as communicate more clearly with Our Lord. Of course, He knows what’s in our hearts before we even speak. But it’s good for us to clarify ourselves anyway – to shape us more firmly into the kind of loving people we are meant to be!