Chapter 16 – Prayer: The Encounter of God’s Thirst with Ours Love Unveiled 8

This is the final chapter in Love Unveiled. In the coming weeks we will be choosing another book to read together online. If you would like to give your input to choose our next selection from, you can find more information HERE.

Deacon Ralph –

In this chapter on prayer, Sri reminds us that prayer begins with God’s initiative in seeking us out and desiring for us to enter into a relationship with Him. While we may get caught up in the mechanics of prayer, prayer is simply the desire for God in our hearts. Jesus thirsts for our love. He wants our attention, awaits our response.  Sri states, “Pious practices, devotions, good works, and penances should be expressions of our love for God, but they in themselves are not the goal. ” The goal of prayer is love of God…total, unconditional, selfless love, and from this love will flow all those other things. The Catechism goes so far as to say practices of prayer are of little value on their own if our heart is far from God.

Sri concludes this chapter by talking about the obstacles to prayer. He lists distraction, dryness, busy lives and the feeling that God does not seem to be listening. Haven’t we all experienced most of these obstacles. Finding time and being distracted were definitely my top two obstacles early on in my spiritual life! While distraction will still creep in occasionally, finding time has become less of an issue! Isn’t every moment an opportunity to converse with God? I do look forward to quiet times in the evenings, or when I lay in bed before sleep takes over or when I wake and don’t need to get out of bed right away. However, as prayer became a habit, I have found that the conversation with God really never stops, it is a constant dialogue throughout the day. Oh sure, the intensity changes as life goes on around me, but I find my thoughts always return to God.

God thirsts for us…thirsts for our love. If we are open to Him, we will be drawn to seek Him more intimately and our thirst for Him will become insatiable. Pray always!

Mary –

    Ah yes, prayer!  A good way to finish our journey with this book.  I struggle with prayer on a nearly daily basis – and in ways that Sri mentions as being very common in this chapter.  But before I get into all of that, I have to say that I do like the analogy given regarding the Samarian woman that Jesus encounters at the well.  God ‘thirsting’ for us, if I really think about it, is a concept that can change my entire outlook regarding my self-imagined poor prayer performance.  The author, as if reading my mind states “…it’s not all about me and how well I perform” – the emphasis is instead on my cooperation with Him; giving Him the chance to work in my life and in my heart.  Think about this for just a moment:  Of the many relationships that you have in your life, what is the one single thing that the BEST of them have in common?  Communication!  Dialogue!  Interaction! 

    So how can we expect a great, faithful and fruitful relationship with God, if we aren’t communicating well, or often?  So, my one takeaway for this final chapter is this:  Converse more with God; actual conversation rather than a routine or a checklist of how I imagine prayer should go, keeping in mind the acronym ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication).  I will work on my relationship by bettering my communication and accept the distractions and excuses as opportunities to see, really and truly see, what is taking up space in my heart that should be reserved for God alone.  

Questions for your comment –

  • What is/was the most challenging obstacle to prayer for you? What ways did you try to overcome that obstacle?
  • What is one thing you could do to enhance your prayer life?
  • What is your favorite prayer or prayers?
  • What other prayer opportunities would you like to see offered at Saint Kilian Parish?

Share your thoughts!

8 thoughts on “Chapter 16 – Prayer: The Encounter of God’s Thirst with Ours

  • Sue Callahan

    Ok so here we are at the last chapter of this very educational and thought provoking book and for some reason I missed the questions for a few of the chapters however with that being said, I must offer my perspective on this last chapter addressing prayer. I do not feel, for myself, that adding more events to go out and attend would work for me. This year due to my health, I must avoid public crowded places until my autoimmune system up and running again. Many, many years ago I was introduced to a book named Poustinia, by Catherine Dougherty. While reading this book I learned the meaning of a Poustinia and have been incorporating it within my prayer life since. A real poustinia is a barren room in a hut with not distractions – it has a cot, a chair and table, a bible,a candle, glass of water and a small loaf of bread – thusly no earthly distractions. After spending a week in solitude and prayer a poustinian goes out to the streest and helps the needy (this is an eastern practice). In my poustinia a lose myself in playing liturgical music on my guitar and singing, giving thanksgiving to God while walking my dog and taking all the blessing we are all given, the important thing is to recognize them and most importantly while riding my horse – the movement of this powerful animal under my body lulls my soul into a single vision of God and just as the horse and I are one in spirit, concentrating on the love of God and all the goodness He has afforded me makes us one in spirit, which I think, for me, is prayer.

    • Deacon Ralph Post author

      Thanks for your post! I like the adaptation and personalization of the poustinia. Our prayer lives are unique as each one of us. Sometimes we try to imitate how others may pray only to find it does not work for us. You have found a way to take the concept of this form of prayer and make it your own! God Bless!!

      • Sue Callahan

        Thank you for your comments, Ralph. You have been an inspiration to me this past year and I am looking forward to continuing this into the New Year. Your efforts in this mission are appreciated! God Bless

  • Debbie Kiel Kerch

    This chapter is an eye-opener as I always struggled with prayer in regards to quantity vs quality. I often thought that the more I prayed the better I was doing. Prayer is not about me it’s about bringing my heart to God in humility, something that I now believe I struggle with. I worry so much about pleasing God that I’m losing the focus of what prayer really is. I am so grateful for this last chapter on prayer because it has changed my whole perspective. I don’t feel pressure anymore to say the right words or to worry about how many prayers I fit in during the day. I’m now going to focus on having a loving conversation with God.

    As far as what can St Killian’s do in regards to prayer I would love to see a small course or a one night lecture on Lectio Divina. I’ve always struggled with this and I would love to get some help and I also enjoy when other people share their thoughts and feelings when they read a particular part of scripture. It always gives me new insight to hear from others.

    Thanks, Debbie

    • Deacon Ralph Post author

      Thanks Debbie for your thoughts and suggestion. We are all on a journey in our spiritual life. How blessed we are to have the saints as guides and inspiration. Also, we are blessed to have each other to share the journey and help each other along the way.

      I’ll add Lectio Divina to my list of possibilities to offer in the future!

    • Deacon Ralph Post author

      Thanks! A good suggestion. Since we do not offer an evening Mass during the week, it would great to offer some later afternoon or evening opportunity for prayer. Perhaps an hour of Eucharistic Adoration that includes Evening Prayer and quiet reflection.