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Prayer is a game-changer

Someone noted that there are people who pray and pray, but still have the same bad habits anyway. (“Dasal nang dasal, pareho pa rin ang asal!”)

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In today’s Gospel (Luke 9:28B-36), we hear about the transfiguration of Jesus that was witnessed by his disciples Peter, James, and John. Something happened when Jesus was praying. His face changed in appearance and His clothing became dazzling white. If we really and truly pray, we not only change things; we ourselves change!

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Jesus went up the mountain to pray. We must take time to pray. We can pray anywhere and anytime, but we must set aside a particular time and place for prayer, otherwise, we may end up not praying at all. Do you have a quiet time and quiet corner with the Lord, every day?

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At the transfiguration, the disciples saw Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah. Prayer is a conversation with God in our thoughts and in our hearts. The problem with many of us is that we monopolize the conversation. We do a lot of taking and we do not do a lot of listening, that’s why we never really change. May we learn to really listen more. When we pray, we listen to God’s instructions, not vice versa. “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening!” (1 Samuel, 7-11)

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To pray is to experience the presence of God and to see His glory. The main focus of prayer is the Lord, not ourselves, our struggles, our sinfulness, and our problems. We accept our human condition, but in prayer, we make God bigger, still. As it were, prayer lifts us up and makes us see the “big picture.”

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Peter started telling Jesus his plans to make three tents at the place of transfiguration. Notice how a cloud came as if telling him to be quiet, and just be present in that tremendous moment. Often, we do not really give the Lord the chance to manifest Himself and His love because we are so focused on ourselves and on our own agenda.

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“Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds before my eyes, cease doing evil; learn to do good.” (Isaiah 1, 16) God is speaking to us urgently, especially these days of the pandemic, wars, natural and political disasters. The Lord is speaking; are we listening?

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May prayer make us more human, and more kind, make us better persons, and lead us to love others more concretely.

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One of the most precious gifts I and my siblings received from Papa and Mama is the gift of prayer. “Just pray, and keep on praying.” That is all that they kept repeating to us, especially when times were hard. Though they are not with us anymore, we are strong because they taught us to be strong in the Lord, through prayer.

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Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: “Every time you smile at someone, it’s a gift to that person.” How true! Let us all be more generous! Let us remind people of God’s love and presence by simply smiling and giving kind words of hope and appreciation.

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Prayer is the best gift we can give to one another. May we bring people to God’s heart, whisper their names, and their needs. All of us can do this. Remember, prayer is powerful. It can change situations and it can change the ones we are praying for. And it can change you and me who pray. Yes, prayer is a game-changer.

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, help us to pray and help us to pray more. Amen.

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