We tend to pray with great intensity for the things we want, but do we ever think of praying for what God wants?
Usually, when our desire for something “cools off,” so does our prayer. It is very important, therefore, that when we pray, we move with the current of God’s will, and not against it.
This is true even when we are praying for someone we love tremendously. When my husband Eddie was in a car accident and I was on my way to be with him, I prayed fervently that he might be well.
But in my mind, every second I forced myself to add, “if it be thy will.” If God wanted to take Eddie home for whatever reason, I had to be willing to accept it. I had to mentally pronounce words to the effect that I was ready to do God’s will and to move in its stream.
A person’s greatest act is to do the will of God. You may ask me, “How do I know his will?” How do I know which ideas are mine, and which belong to God?
There is only one answer. To know his will, I must learn how to listen to him. This can happen only through prayer and under the guidance of a spiritual director.
Grace in Every Season, pp. 34-5
Catherine de Hueck Doherty is the founder of the Madonna House Apostolate
, Combermere, Ontario, a public association of the Christian faithful. More info on Madonna House can be found online here