Do we thank God enough?
The answer is a resounding no. The prayers any of us say, be it from memory or on a printed help page, are absolutely good since the definition of prayer is the opening of our minds and hearts to God. Be assured that God never rejects prayers no matter how small they might appear to us. There are numerous scripture passages in the New Testament where Jesus responded to the disciples asking about prayer.
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you; For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks the door will be opened.” (Lk. 11: 9 ff). We should always pray since there is no other manner in which we can get the attention of God in our greatest needs.
My daughter growing up learned one specific trait when wanting something and being thankful once she received it. The two words were please and thank you. On these two simple expressions she learned the very important factors of not taking anyone for granted. There are obvious opportunities to forget that when anybody hands you a gift with any significance, you should show appreciation for their effort of pleasing you.
“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.” (Mt. 15: 8). Of course Jesus was responding to the Pharisees regarding their hypocrisy towards their traditions that forsook those who really mattered. But, it is a reminder that we must be careful when praying that the words have little meaning if while we pray our hearts are someplace else.
Prayer should never become just utterance of words without having substance with them. I know there will be people, especially those who pray the rosary without too much thought since repetition becomes habitual. I too pray the rosary and how easy it becomes to rattle off words without a lot of thought on the meaning. Here is a suggestion I heard from EWTN on this prayer: to have some pictures or emblems representing the specific mysteries while reciting using the beads. We know that even while in contemplation our mind can easily become distracted. I need that reminder as well as everyone else. Do not curtail your prayers, especially to the Blessed Mother since her intercession to her Son, Jesus, is very meaningful for us.
Always be aware that when we speak with a friend or relative our obvious approach is choosing words that are real and sensitive for most people. Prayer is no different since our conversation is with God and should have a clear sense about it.
Ralph B. Hathaway