A cloistered nun was asked why she prayed. ‘Because I breathe,’ she replied. People want to pray because ‘they want to experience God’s extraordinary presence in their ordinary lives’. However, prayer demands ‘a slow and deliberate effort, a dedicated time for reflection, and an authentic response from our soul’. The effect of prayer is to see with the heart and respond appropriately. It brings peace to the spirit and facilitates the welling up in the heart of compassion, empathy, gratitude and hope. We also bring others before God as our way of supporting them through good times and bad.
Excerpted from Reimagining Religion: A Jesuit Vision by Jim Maher SJ (p.46)