By Bob Acebedo | Published: October 24, 2020
Action without reflection is recklessness. If one is hastily disposed to action without reflection or discernment, chances are he or she is likely to err and fail. This is all too common in everyone’s life.
In the same breath, action without prayer smacks of haughtiness, excessive self-confidence and absolute dependence on one’s self; it spares little room for accepting setbacks. Perhaps because they do not believe in God or in the efficacy of prayer, some people stay away from praying and everything spiritual while relying only on themselves.
The Final Solution
“I can manage by myself,” they would say.
The problem arises when, beset by challenges and problems, they cannot manage by themselves, and they soon realize that alone, “myself” can’t be relied upon to handle every challenge and problem.
They eventually fall into depression and sometimes, as is common in some highly secularized societies, many of them turn to suicide as the “final solution.”
Prayer without reflection is just formulaic verbal calisthenics. This is pretty true among ritual-centered devotees who stew themselves in simply reciting lengthy prayer formulas, like the Holy Rosary, without even reflecting on what comes out of their mouths.
And prayer without action is passivity. There are those who simply pray and expect for an answer even without lifting finger or doing something about what they are praying for. This is wishful believing, if not plain fanaticism.
Ergo, our prayer should not stand by itself; we should deepen it with proper reflection and necessary action in order to win God’s grace or favor.
The theological tenet for this says, “Divine grace is attained through man’s cooperation,” or “God helps those who help themselves.”
What Prayer Is
Finally, prayer is more than just a conversation with God or petitioning God for something.
Listen to this beautiful reflection about prayer: “What is prayer? Prayer doesn’t only happen when we kneel or put our hands together and focus and expect things from God.
Thinking positive and wishing good for others is a prayer. When you hug a friend, that’s a prayer. When you cook something to nourish family and friends, that’s a prayer. When we send off our dear ones and say, ‘drive safely or be safe’, that’s a prayer.
When you are helping someone in need by giving time and energy, you are praying. When you forgive someone, that is prayer. Prayer is a vibration. A feeling. A thought.
Prayer is the voice of love, friendship, genuine relationships. Prayer is an expression of your silent being. Keep praying always.”
Hence, to P. R. A. Y. means to “Pray, Reflect, Act and Yield” to God’s will, love, and blessings!