Have you ever felt like your prayer life is going nowhere? Or, do you want to deepen your prayer, but don’t know how to breathe new life into it?
When it comes to prayer, the answer is always Jesus. Not only are we supposed to address our prayers to Jesus, we also should sit at his feet and learn the art of prayer!
One of the primary ways we can imitate Jesus’ own prayer is to pray from a “converted heart.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:
“2608 From the Sermon on the Mount onwards, Jesus insists on conversion of heart: reconciliation with one’s brother before presenting an offering on the altar, love of enemies, and prayer for persecutors, prayer to the Father in secret, not heaping up empty phrases, prayerful forgiveness from the depths of the heart, purity of heart, and seeking the Kingdom before all else. This filial conversion is entirely directed to the Father.”
In order for our prayer to have the greatest effect, we must pray from a converted heart. As Jesus says elsewhere, “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
This challenges us to look inside our heart and see where our allegiance lies. Is our heart fully converted to the Lord? In what areas of our lives are we still serving another master?
St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote a similar meditation in his Spiritual Exercises, encouraging the individual to envision a battlefield with “Two Standards.” One of the standards features God and his army, while the other is Satan and his army. Which side do we choose? Is our heart fully converted to the Lord and dedicated to his cause?