ACTION without reflection or discernment is recklessness. If one is hastily disposed to action without reflection, chances are he or she is likely to err and fail.
This is all too common in everyone’s life.
In the same manner, action without prayer smacks of haughtiness, excessive self-confidence and conceited 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. “I can manage by myself,” they would say.
The problem arises when, beset by challenges and problems, they cannot manage by themselves anymore, and they soon realize that alone, “myself” can’t be relied upon to handle every challenge or 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.
Prayer without action is passivity. There are those who simply pray and expect for an answer even without lifting a finger or doing something about what they are praying for.
This is wishful believing, if not blind acquiescence.
Therefore, our prayer should not stand by itself; it should be coupled or accompanied with proper reflection and appropriate action in order to win God’s grace or favour.
The theological tenet for this says, “Divine grace is attained through man’s cooperation,” or “God helps those who help themselves.”
Finally, prayer is more than just a conversation with God or petitioning God for something.
Listen to this beautiful reflection about prayer from an anonymous source:
“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 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 something 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.”
Verily, in sum, to P.R.A.Y. thus means to “Pray (or to Praise, Plead, or Present oneself to God), Reflect, Act, and Yield” to God’s will, love, and unceasing abundance!
My fervent prayers for God’s continued blessings, guidance and protection for everyone in this perilous time of COVID-19 pandemic. Benedicamus Domino...Deo gratias!