“In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” Romans 8: 26,27
We had a good one last night! We began with a giant word search containing over seventy-five words! By giant I mean two 12' x 12' word searches on the floor of the Parish Community Center!
It was REALLY fun! Have you ever found yourself in a situation searching for words; the right words to say, or not wanting to talk for fear of saying the wrong thing? It happened to me this week. My friend called me on Wednesday to let me know that his wife had just found out they had a miscarriage. They have 3 girls, and this one was the boy they were hoping for. “Aw man,” I responded. “I hate to hear that. I will be praying for y’all.” Well DUH! Of course I will. Got any more brain busters, Ryan? Another time I recall was when the husband and father of a wonderful family I know passed away of cancer. He and his wife had three kids; two in high school and 1 in elementary. At the funeral, I hugged his wife. She said to me, “hug your babies as much as you can daddy.” Then I started crying. I didn’t know what to say. I shared this story with an older friend of mine and he said, “Ryan, sometimes the words just don’t come.”
Most of us have been in a similar situation or will eventually find ourselves in that moment when we just can’t seem to come up with the right words; or at least what we think are the right words. Fortunately, these moments don’t always happen during difficult times. They can happen when I get caught off guard, or surprised. They can often happen when talking to our parents, and would you believe that it also happens to me during prayer? Have you ever said to yourself, “Self, I’m gonna really concentrate and pray,” only to sit a become confused by all the thoughts that seem to race across your mind?
I often times over complicate prayer. I don’t know what to pray for or think that I have to say certain words or pray all the time to be heard by God. While memorized prayers are good, the most important thing is to remember that prayer is a relationship. Formal prayers will be empty words if there’s not a relationship first. So how do we build that relationship? What do we pray about when we talk to God?
Have a great week! No Life Night next Sunday for Father's Day!
Ryan began using his gifts for the church shortly after high school starting with music ministry at his parish and then on to campus ministry at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has since also served as a parish youth minister and Coordinator of Adolescent Formation. Ryan shares the good news of the gospel hoping to compassionately inspire a response to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him and "become fishers of men." Ryan currently serves as full time Youth Minister here at Divine Mercy Parish.