Prayer is heart of Holy Week
Inspired & Blessed

Prayer is heart of Holy Week

Mar 27, 2024, 12:24 AM
Bob Acebedo

Bob Acebedo


We’re into the most hallowed part of the year and, no denying so, PRAYER is the heart or core of the Holy Week observance.

There is no arguing, we can never underestimate the immense power of prayer. Having
spent a considerable number of years inside the seminary and almost finishing my erstwhile
priestly formation, I can only reminisce, with nostalgic yearning, the spiritually awesome and
uplifting prayer moments and exercises we have had.

Prayer, from my Catholic perspective, doesn’t get its value on the quantity of words or
repetition of formulas. Rather, as it is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God, its value lies
principally on our inner attitude of faith and love of God.

Hence, regardless of what we are praying for, prayer – by itself – is a profound
experience of transcendence, of connecting with the divine.

But, are we trying to change God’s will in prayer? My quick answer is: No. Because it
would be contrary to sound philosophy and biblical faith. “I, the Lord, do not change (Mal. 3:6).

God has ordained that certain goods be granted only on the condition that we pray. But
this does not mean that prayer changes God’s mind or will. St. Thomas Aquinas aptly teaches:
“We pray not that we may change the divine disposition, but that we may ask that which God has
disposed to be fulfilled by our prayers: in other words, ‘that by asking, men may deserve to
receive what Almighty God from eternity has disposed to give’, as Gregory says (Dial. i,8).”

In their book, titled “Twenty Answers: Prayer,” authors Fr. Hugh Barbour and Fr.
Sebastian Walshe contend that:

“A correct understanding of the nature of prayer teaches us that prayer does not change
God’s will but accomplishes it. The only wills that are changed are those of the persons praying
or being prayed for. Prayer is the most noble of the many created means whereby God
accomplishes his will. In his wisdom and providence, he has determined that there are many
things that will only be brought about by prayer. Prayer is thus an instrument of God’s supreme
causality; that is, prayer is a way that God makes things happen with our COOPERATION
(underscoring mine). When we pray and are encouraged to do so by God, it is with this

That indeed prayer is our powerful armor, Frs. Barbour and Walshe verily affirm:

“Human beings are never so powerful and effective than when they pray. People read
self-help books about being effective and successful, but the man of prayer has more power than
these. Yet prayer also teaches us humility of heart, as we seek to conform our hearts to the heart
of God. By praying we become once again like the ‘little children to whom the kingdom of
heaven belongs (Mt. 19:14)’.”

Finally, prayer is more than just spending time with God or petitioning God for
something. Listen to this beautiful reflection about prayer:

“What is prayer? Prayer doesn’t just 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 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 your 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.”

A prayerful Holy Week observance to one and all! Keeping you in my grateful and
fervently praying heart.

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