Prayer is Essential
Prayer is essential to any evangelization. In fact, the US Bishops state the following about the goals identified in their own document, "Go and Make Disciples". They say:
81. These goals are meaningless unless they are steeped in prayer. Without prayer, the Good News of Jesus Christ cannot be understood, spread, or accepted. These goals can be accomplished only by opening our hearts to God, who gives to his children everything they seek, who responds when we knock, and who answers when we persevere in asking. At Mass, in the Liturgy of the Hours, in prayer groups, and in individual prayer and devotions, we must ask unceasingly for the grace to evangelize. The moment we stop praying for the grace to spread the Good News of Jesus will be the moment when we lose the power to evangelize.
Goal 1 includes an objective specifically focused on prayer. Our Bishops set the following objective (97):
97. To foster an even deeper sense of prayer among our Catholic people
The Bishops have thoughtfully proposed strategies for us to consider. For this objective, they include:
- daily schedule of prayer for every Catholic;
- wider utilization of the Liturgy of the Hours and other common prayer among Catholics;
- training in methods of meditation and contemplation; and
- publication of more accessible devotional reading.
Our Bishops are merely encouraging us to develop a strong prayer life. The concept of daily prayer can be seen in scripture when our Lord Himself taught us to pray. He said "give us this day, our daily bread".
So, it should become part of our mission, first and foremost, to develop a daily prayer life.
To assist in building the habit of prayer, we suggest you begin with a small prayer. Here are two good prayers to use. One to pray for your evangelistic work and another for your parish.