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"Praying more" by Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh (CatholicMom.com) Pixabay (2011), CC0 Public Domain[/caption] What should your number-one resolution be for this New Year? I just read something very interesting about the top resolutions for the New Year. Eat less and exercise more always seem to make the list of top choices. I have to admit: these usually make my list too. Saving money was likely number three. OK. I would like to get a little creative here. I am going to suggest an idea that may seem a little out there. What if Hollywood made a T V commercial worldwide that said this coming year we are encouraging everyone to add “praying more” to the top of their new year’s resolution list? We would need to market this idea to appeal to everyone. Hmmm. What would be the best way to do this? We could get a couple of celebrities to really push the idea. For example, we could have Mark Walberg, Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Al Pacino all profess the potential benefits from praying on a daily basis. They are all Catholic, so we could have them make the commercial in front of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral or even in front of St. Peter's at the Vatican. I would like to suggest a couple of ideas to help with their marketing effort – entitle it “The benefits of praying in 2018!” 1) Stress could be reduced at least 50% for everyone who added daily prayers to their routines. 2) Because prayer involves meditation, mental health is improved. 3) Because mental health is improved, overall health is improved. There is a notable drop in the number of heart attacks, stomach issues, kidney stones … the list goes on. Most health problems would improve! 4) Anger, bullying and hatred almost disappear. Wow! 5) World leaders would go to the table to have more discussions for peace and less talk of wars. 6) Kindness is added to the curriculum at schools since family prayer at home will include being kind to others. 7)The problem with the homeless decreases since everyone is pitching in to change their circumstances. 8) Church attendance skyrockets. More churches are needed. Instead of new homes being built with entertainment rooms, small prayer rooms are becoming a new wave for new homes. (This one may be a stretch, but let’s add it anyway!) 9) It becomes fashionable to pray in public (when in a restaurant or a gym, for example). 10) Most important, people are happier! Just think. Adding more prayer could make a remarkable impact on daily lives for everyone, so, how will we get advertisers to promote this idea? It should be a "no brainer" if all of the above 10 items are the result of their efforts. Wouldn’t this make it worth it? The value that would come from doing this would be enormous. I would like to suggest we start with some Bible verses on prayer!
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, listen to my cry for help. -Psalm 39:12 “After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and prayed.” -John 17:1 “Pray continually.” -1 Thessalonians 5:17
It should be noted throughout the Bible we are encouraged to pray. Consequently, it should be stressed that the focus of all prayers have to start with God; therefore, we must have a clear idea of God. God has to be meaningful and personal to each of us. God is all-powerful, which means no prayer is beyond His ability to answer. He is all knowing and loving. God oversees everything and everyone from the moment we are conceived. It should also be noted that prayer is a relationship where we worship, communicate with, and face God knowing He loves us and will respond in His way. It’s not like pulling a rabbit out of a hat; it’s not a guarantee against bad things happening. Stated simply, it is a clear humble relationship with our Creator where the potential for peace is possible! Peace inside ourselves and peace with each other. Pretty amazing when you think about it. There is a certain humility that comes with prayer. We are letting God know what is in our minds and hearts. That’s not easy. So our narrator should say, "Do it anyway! Reach inside yourself and recognize how much it can help." The year 2018 could be very important for the world. Let’s truly think about making prayer a resolution for everyone. It starts with us. Move it to the top of your list. Who knows? Maybe doing this one person at a time is all we need to make our journey together hopeful. At the same time it could help make our prayer life more routine. Bring it on, 2018 – We have God in our corner!
Copyright 2018 Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh