Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” ~Mt 11:.4-5
In a 2014 graduation speech at the University of Texas (Austin), U.S. Special Operations commander Admiral William McRaven declared: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” His point was that a mundane action, carried out in a disciplined way, can be transformative. So it is with prayer. The more faithfully we practice the small act of setting aside time to pray daily, the deeper we will be drawn into a relationship with Christ.
And as we firm up our prayer habit, we will begin to experience the intimacy and reverence of that relationship. For God is both the chittering mother bird who shelters us in the shadow of her wing, and the fearsome Maker of the universe, who “laid the cornerstone of the earth while the morning stars sang in chorus” (from Job 38). As we are wrapped in the mystery of God’s transcendent and immanent love, a transformation occurs. Our human desires are subsumed into God’s will; the dross of our lives is burned away in the fire of divine love; and we are changed. Prayer transforms us.
We may be blind to the truth about a relationship: through prayer we gain clarity. We may be immobilized by a family estrangement: through prayer we move towards reconciliation. And in the fullness of God’s time, we may find the lesions on our souls dissolved, the dead parts of our lives resurrected and our spiritual poverty filled with the riches of God’s word. This transformational healing was the gift of Jesus Christ to the people of his time, and it is his gift to us now.
O God, I pray today that you will bestow your mercy upon me and put right what is wrong in my life. Amen.