The first reading yesterday from Tobit http://www.usccb.org/nab/readings/060409.shtml reminded me once again of the proper way to formulate a prayer.
“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers,
praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race descended.
You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a partner like himself.’
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
not because of lust,
but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her,
and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
So many times in scripture we’re given this example of how to form our prayer – Praise – Thanksgiving – Announcement of Faith – then Petition. So why don’t we (myself included) always form our prayer this way?
I think it’s partly because we don’t think we have the time (or we just don’t think). We’re in a hurry to get to the meat of our prayer – what WE want. Well, what about what God wants?
It would be like our children coming to us for something, perhaps money to go out on, but no kiss, no greeting – just a hand poked in our face to gather what they think we should give them. But God deserves our love, praise and thanksgiving so much more than we do! And yet we still rush right past the announcement of love right to the ‘gimme’ portion of our prayers.
Let’s try to remember to praise and thank God for all He does for us before we ask Him to give us more!