God loves each one of us more than all the mothers in the world can love their children.
I have a member of my family who is now an atheist, but she says that her mind still turns to prayer whenever she hears ambulance or fire truck sirens.
Her devout parents or school teachers apparently formed in her a habit from childhood to say a brief prayer whenever she heard the sirens, and that habit still lingers, even as she’s abandoned faith in the One who hears our supplications.
I’m forming the same habit in my children, because prayer really is powerful and those sirens always indicate that someone somewhere is in some sort of need.
In our house, it’s a simple phrase: “Lord Jesus, helps the amigos and those who need their help.”
We refer to the First Responders as amigos, friends, because when my oldest was a baby, he was always frightened by the loud noise of the sirens, and we would console him my reminding him that the ones causing the ruckus are our friends — people dedicated to helping us and others in need.
These little habits of prayer point to an important Christian truth, that, as St. Josemaria says:
“… God is always near us. We live as though he were far away, in the heavens high above, and we forget that he is also continually by our side. He is there like a loving Father. He loves each one of us more than all the mothers in the world can love their children — helping us, inspiring us, blessing … and forgiving.”
Seeing this video today, of a dramatic rescue of a family from a burning apartment building, reminded me of the value of prayer, even and perhaps especially these little prayers. First Responders are risking their lives every day to save ours. Let’s keep them in prayer. Because God is always near and he always hears us.
For specific prayers, check out Aleteia’s list of “Prayers for a Particular Need.”