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School of Rembrandt (Rembrandt Van Rijn

Saint Jerome Praying in His Study, by School of Rembrandt (Rembrandt Van Rijn). Public Domain, Sourced from the Metropolitan Collection of Art

Prayer: The Number One Priority (The MODG Message)

The MODG Message is a blog for teens full of useful tips, insights, inspiring stories, and practical advice. We want teens everywhere to live and love the faith in their everyday lives and to use the gifts they have to bring glory to God. We want them to be lights in their communities and loving members in their families, inspiring and teaching others. We want teens everywhere to share the Message with all.

Prayer: The Number One Priority

I lay down in bed and closed my eyes. My first thought was, ‘Wow, what a great day.’ Everything I had set out to do I had done. I had accomplished all of my priorities and more!
Ace Latin quiz . . . check.
Almost ace chemistry quiz . . . check.
Complete all my school work . . . check.
Learn a new piano song . . . check.
Start reading a book . . . check.
Play spikeball with my friends . . . check.
Wow, what a great day. Have you ever had a day like that? When you feel like you are on top of the world, like you are accomplished and important and purposeful?

Well that’s how I felt. After a moment of satisfying recollection on the day’s accomplishments, I realized something. Something pretty shocking. The one thing that should have been on the top of my list of priorities, the summit and climax of my day, was the one thing that today, I hadn’t done. Pray.

Adoration of The Magi by Quinten Massys
Public Domain, Sourced from the Metropolitan Collection of Art

God, who created the whole universe and all good things, who made us His own children, and who even sent His only Son to die in atonement for our sins, wants nothing more than to have a relationship with me. Why? Because He loves me that much. And to top this off, I had not even given Him five minutes. Wow.

When I continued to think about it from this viewpoint, everything else I had done today seemed to lose its importance. I guess it wasn’t really as great a day as I had thought. The priorities I had made and accomplished, shouldn’t have really been on the top of my priority list. And do you know why this is? Because, without God, NOTHING we do here really matters. It just doesn’t matter.

“For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life” (Matt. 16: 26)

Now don’t get me wrong, everything I did today was good . . . I’m not saying it’s bad to ace a quiz or study hard! No, of course these things are good! What I am actually saying is that unless there is some meaning to your actions, some purpose to your efforts beyond the hope of temporal happiness, then they are pointless! It is God, and only God, who can make our efforts meaningful and important! And He wants to do this, so badly. All we need to do is ask Him.

“He created us individually, He loves us infinitely, He watches out for us constantly. He is our Father and friend and He wants us to speak with Him.” – Anonymous

So, I’m thinking all of this when the little devil sitting on my shoulder whispers into my ear. “You’re a busy person with plenty of other things to do. You already go to Mass every single week. Why do you need to make time for God?”

I’m sure most of you have had thoughts along these lines before. The truth of the matter is that it’s not always the easiest thing to make time to pray.

St Claire, by Claude Mellan.
Public Domain, Sourced from the Metropolitan Collection of Art

Now you might be thinking, “But I do pray, I speak to God every day.” If that is the case, then I am happy for you. You are a holier person than myself. But for those of you who like me often find it hard to make time to pray, I get it. It can be hard.

But something that I think you will find when you start praying more, is that the more often you do it, the easier it will become. God blesses and rewards our efforts; he doesn’t spurn them! Eventually, praying might not be just some tedious task to check off the list, but as I said before, truly the climax, even the highlight, of your day!

I mean, think about it this way. You are getting to have a conversation with God, who created you, everyone you know, every living creature ever to exist, and the whole universe. AND HE WANTS TO TALK WITH YOU!!!

For like the third or fourth time of the night, wow.

One last thing I want to point out – prayer doesn’t have to be extensive or hard or tiring in any way. God doesn’t require you to say three rosaries, a divine mercy chaplet, and a litany of saints every day for your friendship with Him to be fulfilled. Prayer can be as simple as you telling God about your day, your successes and your failures, your needs and your desires. It can be you asking Him for help, praising Him for His power, or even thanking Him for the blessing of your day. It can even be as simple as you telling Him, as a child to his father, how much you love Him.

I stopped, calmed my mind, and then gave ten minutes of my time to the God who loves me.

I decided that I would do something the next day. It wouldn’t have to be for very long, maybe five or ten minutes, but I was going to make some time for God. Prayer was going to be on the top of my to-do list and a day without prayer would be a day wasted. And here’s the reason for it folks.

Prayer is the number one priority.

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