Prayer is rather our attempt to realize the love that already unites us with God, allow it to become more present to us, and give it greater scope to act upon us and change us. We do not produce prayer. We allow prayer to act. In the Gospel of Matthew, we are told something about the part we must play. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) In other words, we do need to show up!
When we are discerning a call, whether to be a student, a teacher, a wife, parent, a religious sister, prayer is a key element. Jesus expressed his vocation in one sentence, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” And Jesus’ vocation becomes fruitful when we accept his gift of life and live our lives to the fullest. Pray with these two questions from the opening of John’s Gospel, the first question being: “What are you looking for?” Jesus trusts that we can discover our vocation by searching our own hearts. When we are able to name our true desire, we name our vocation. The second question being: “Do you love me?” When we can give ourselves entirely to those we encounter through our vocation, we will experience life in abundance.
In prayer, make a choice. Are you at peace? Are you filled with joy? Will you be able to love? Answer yes, and your prayer has been answered.