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FIVE HELPS FOR PRAYER

Armand Nigro sj

  1. Be there with him and for him.

  2. Want him. Hunger for him.

  3. Listen to him. Listen with faith, deeply and reverently; listen with trust; listen with hunger to be fed by his word; listen with gratitude and in peace, without searching for hidden meanings. Forget about implications, applications, conclusions, resolutions. Be simple, like a child nestled in its father's lap, peacefully listening to his story.

  4. Let him. Let him what? Just let him be with you. Let him be for you what he wants to be. Let him love you. Let him speak to you. Let him hold you and console you and forgive you and strengthen you. Let him take you through dryness and darkness, if he prefers—but let him. What Jesus wants, Jesus deserves. Trust yourself to him.

  5. Respond to him—in any way you want to or feel moved to respond. Be genuinely yourself and respond honestly, freely, spontaneously, reverently. Speak what is in your heart; say what you feel, even when you feel like complaining. Remember that when you don't know what to say, the Holy Spirit prays in you and for you. Just speaking or whispering the name of Jesus rhythmically with your breathing, or repeating works of praise and thanks, are profoundly prayerful responses.