Praying with confidence only comes from how close our relationship with the Lord is. If we are fearful or uncertain about this relationship, we will lack confidence. In my experience, I am certain that God longs to give me good things. Being in relationship with my Creator, there will be times I need to accept that the answers to my prayers, may not always be what I want. However, God has the long term plan and knows what will be best for me and my loved ones. Strengthened by spiritual food and reading the Scriptures, becoming familiar with God’s promises, I am secure in Christ.
I share a daily Ignatian Exam: “A friendship with God requires time and attention – God longs to be in a relationship with you. Ten minutes daily is a reasonable amount for this prayer. Cover all five points but allow God to help guide you through it. Find a space and time to engage the prayer and let those become sacred. 1) Recall that you are in the presence of God who loves you. 2) Express gratitude for all the gifts you have received. 3) Have an awareness of the Holy Spirit in the actions of your day. 4) Explore the way you have lived in God’s presence (positively and negatively) this day. 5) Ask God who loves you for forgiveness, hope and courage as you move forward.” (www.BeAJesuit.org)
Whatever prayer we choose to draw closer to our God, we need to persevere with it. Being a caretaker takes much from us and is at times an ongoing battle to find time to take care of our own needs. Most of us, who are caretakers, are not young ourselves, and need to make better choices how to age consciously. These will include developing skills of ‘self-compassion’ with our aging and the needs of our loved ones. There may be times our regrets or negative beliefs keep us from appreciating ourselves and the life we have lived. We get so caught up in our caretaking duties, perhaps God who hears our prayers, reminds us we need to also pray for our needs, particularly fatigue and being overwhelmed.
We can’t be so busy helping everyone else that we neglect ourselves, our time with God or our purpose in life. It is a balance doing and being and we are encouraged to use our time wisely, as we walk in God’s will for our life. We are on a journey of faith and because of this, God will guide us to see new ways that will enable us to live a gentle life. Can we have a hopeful heart, despite circumstances that challenge? That is the call when all is dark, do we accept love and embrace hope?
Our body reacts to the nourishment of our spirit. We find encouragement from Sirach 31:21-23, “Do not give into sadness, torment not yourself with brooding; Gladness of heart is the very life of human beings, cheerfulness prolongs one’s days. Distract yourself, renew your courage, drive resentment far away from you; For worry has brought death to many, nor is there aught to be gained from resentment.” Will you nourish your spirit?