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Pope Francis says we should not be ashamed to ask, or be surprised that we find in ourselves the need to pray, to ask help from someone who can help us.
He said this as he continued with his catechesis on prayer, saying, “Do not be ashamed to pray. ‘Lord, I need this,’ ‘Lord, I am in difficulty,’ ‘Help me!’: the cry, the cry of the heart to God who is the Father.”
The Holy Father said we should also pray in happy moments, “to thank God for everything that is given to us, and not to take anything for granted or as if it were owed to us: everything is grace. We must learn this. The Lord always gives to us, always, and everything is grace, everything. The grace of God.”
The pope reflected that even those who might not believe in God somehow believe in prayer
[W]e must not suffocate the supplication that rises up in us spontaneously. Prayer of petition goes in step with acceptance of our limit and our nature as creatures. One may even not reach the point of belief in God, but it is difficult not to believe in prayer: it simply exists, it presents itself to us as a cry; and we all know this inner voice that may remain silent for a long time, but one day awakens and cries out.
God will answer
The pope assured that God will respond. “God alway answers: maybe today, tomorrow, but he always answers, in one way or another. He always answers. The Bible repeats it countless times: God listens to the cry of those who invoke Him.”
Brothers and sisters, in prayer there is always a question of patience, always, of supporting the wait. Now we are in the time of Advent, a time that is typically of expectation; of expectation of Christmas. We are in waiting. This is clear to see. But all our life is also in waiting. And prayer is always in expectation, because we know that the Lord will answer. Even death trembles when a Christian prays, because it knows that everyone who prays has an ally stronger than it has: the Risen Lord. Death has already been defeated in Christ, and the day will come when everything will be final, and it will no longer scorn our life and our happiness. Let us learn to stay in waiting; in expectation of the Lord. The Lord comes to visit us, not only in these great feasts – Christmas, Easter – but rather the Lord visits us every day, in the intimacy of our heart if we are in waiting. And very often we do not realize that the Lord is nearby, that He knocks on our door, and we let Him pass on by. “I am afraid of God when He passes,” Saint Augustine used to say. “I am afraid He will pass and I will not realize.” And the Lord passes, the Lord comes, the Lord knocks. But if your ears are filled with other noise, you will not hear the call of the Lord. Brothers and sisters, staying in waiting: this is prayer.
Pope’s December prayer intention is prayer itself