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Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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Holy Spirit Interactive: Deacon Thomas Frankenfield : Just P-R-A-Y: A Simple Formula for Prayer

Just P-R-A-Y: A Simple Formula for Prayer

by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield

My Personal Journey

After many months of a personal sabbatical where I experienced the personal reality of pain and suffering, I am glad to be rejoining the Holy Spirit Interactive team again. Over the next weeks, I will share some new insights that my months in the desert have provided for me. God always gives us wonderful gifts-just not in the wrapping and packaging we are expecting. So off we go again...

As I write this reflection, I am very aware that I have dearly missed communicating with the Holy Spirit Interactive readers. You always give me hope. Plus, as time went by, I drifted further and it became even harder for me to reconnect with all of you. In many ways, drifting mirrors an experience in prayer called being in the "desert." Throughout my personal journey with the unconditionally loving God, I have experienced many forms of prayer and have had periods of intense awareness of God's presence contrasted by periods of dryness. In my work as a Spiritual Director, I find that many experience the same variations of prayer. The enticement of waiting until the situation was perfect often leads to away from prayer. Often, we wait for the right environment or the right prayer book or the right prayer partners. God just wants us in our simplest form-our heart and soul.

During the past months when I focused on the search the "right prayer situation," I lost the focus of prayer-God. Brothers and sister, I am very aware that I had made my prayer life too complicated by setting an unreal standard. The Holy Spirit is always with me and yet is yearning to be vividly alive in my life -- I need to relax and be loved.

A Life of Prayer is a Call to Simplicity

So, let's look at a simple formula for prayer that I developed helping a close friend understand the "right" prayer method for her journey. The key to a full and simple life with God is found right in the word PRAY-that's right; just pray.

P - PRAISE God!

Take time to be thankful to God for all that you have been given in life. Often I am so focused on my needs that I genuinely forget to count my many blessings. During my sicknesses, I am crying out for healing and forgetting my gifts. For example, I have a car to drive myself to the doctors' office; I have the money to pay my bills. I am loved by a family in spite of my frustration dealing with my illnesses. When I look at my gifts, I really do have many things to thank and praise God for. It really helps to put God's gifts first in our prayer life. Praising God anchors us in the Divine.

R - REVEAL

Reveal your real needs to God! Next, we share our needs. At first glance this seems like the easiest prayer form; at least it is often the most common. I could spend the next hour telling God all the things I would like to have. However, for the simple Christian life, I would challenge you to review your life with a different perspective. Can you tear away those things that are pure pleasure and see the things that you need to bring you closer to God? A new game machine might be great but ask yourself how that brings you closer to God. As we work through that process we begin to see our needs with a new vantage point. Let your emotions lead your prayer in telling God your needs, not the commercials on the television or the radio.

A- ADORE

Adore our amazing God and all His Works! This next step is to do more than slow down and evaluate. It means stopping and taking time to be with the Lord. For Catholics, we have the gift of the Eucharist to pray before. Take time in Eucharistic Adoration. Allow yourself to be transformed! Allow the real presence of God to permeate your being. As a last resort use words! Others will look at the beauty of God's creation; the beauty of our family and friends. The key here is to be present to God in these situations-then absorb the goodness!

Y - YES!

Say "yes" being lead by the Holy Spirit! The last step assumes that we have moved through the above steps. After praising, requesting and an experience of adoring, we are ready to completely give our lives to the Holy Spirit. In opening our lives to The Spirit many of us have experienced God in more of fruitful ways. For some, Scripture comes alive, with words seemingly jumping out off the pages; most have a craving for deeper prayer and for everyone, the Lord's peace and joy reigns in our lives in fresh ways. Can you let go to the Spirit?

Come, Holy Spirit, come. Teach us to pray. Anoint us so we have no fears of giving our lives to you!!

For Your Reflection


From a Ministry Perspective:

  1. How are you modeling a relationship of prayer to those with whom you minister?

  2. What are your personal obstacles to giving all to the Holy Spirit? Relax and be loved.

From a Family Perspective:

  1. How do we pray in our family; either individually or communally? Are we making rules to make it too complicated?

  2. Are you ready to a leader in your Domestic Church by walking through the 4 steps of PRAY. Lead by example and trust God to do the rest.

Deacon Tom

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