Hello and Welcome to Two Hearts True Healing! I am your host Jacinta Wick! This is Season Two Belonging, A Father’s Authority; Episode 10. You know what? One of my favorite things to do is to hang out with my friends (and family) and sit down for a tea over a conversation. Often we talk about homeschooling, raising children, our foibles and struggles, and latest adventures. It feels so good to be heard and recognized. The gift is being listened to and receiving empathy and perhaps a little feedback. It helps us realize we are not alone and that we are understood. But most of all, it grows our relationship and love toward each other. It forms belonging. That is what prayer is. A conversation which is an exchange between two people who love each other. So if God is in control, and He desires for us to be close to Him, then shouldn’t we respond to the love that is given to us and that is looking for fulfillment?

This conversation with God flows from His gift to us, the Holy Spirit. It flows from our belonging to Him and He dwelling within us. Let’s take a look at Romans 8:11-28 to get a foundation for what prayer is meant to be in our lives. Prayer comes from a life with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. That means we look for Him and listen to Him, doing as He asks. It means putting away the old self and accepting the new path laid out for us. We find death in the deeds of the flesh and life in the deeds of the Spirit. Verse 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. A son belongs. He is right in the Father’s presence and receives a gift from Him; a Spirit of Sonship. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” Abba means Daddy. Prayer starts as a cry to the Father. It is a cry of the heart to be heard and loved and accepted. (See Season One Episode 10 for tips on how to approach the Father.) The Father hears us. That means there is no place for fear. That means we have two options; living like a slave to fear or living as an heir or son. Think for a moment on what slavery is. Do we want to be bound by that? Would we rather not belong to Someone in a more wholesome way other than property as slavery implies?

But we need help. That is why the Father gives us the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Prayer in sonship is not always easy. Sometimes it is a guttural cry of anguish. It is in these times that we must cry out, Abba! He wants to be with us with our brother Christ. He wants us joined to Him. Prayer is a quick glance of the heart to God. Sometimes words aren’t even necessary. When we are in the midst of suffering, we should be thinking of the Risen Christ. This shows us the promise of being glorified if we can persevere to the end. St. Therese of Lisieux says, “For me prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”

St. Paul says, I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Heaven is our home and all our suffering pales in sight of our goal, which is heaven. This glory is unsurpassable. It cannot compare. But one thing that does get us ready for the bliss of the beatific vision and the union of persons is prayer as it grows relationship. All of creation is holding its breath or as the passage says For creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God…because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. Freedom. Another gift. Are we willing to adopt the ability to do as we ought? Because this freedom came at a cost. A bloody cost. The redemption of the cross. 

We know that the whole creation has been groaning with labor pains together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. We see from this passage that prayer is like labor pains. Any woman with children knows what I am talking about. It builds up and falls back and into a crescendo and builds up and completes in  a birth. It takes work yet it is naturally brought about in us because we were wired for this. Hope is the building block. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

You do know that feeling. Let me give you another example. Let’s say we are looking forward to a special day or event. This interior longing within us builds up and keeps us strong in anticipation until the day is reached. That is a natural example or mirror of what our soul does in prayer. That longing for God builds and builds and does not find fulfillment in any other thing but God. Yet even then that longing does not have words to describe it. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. So you see? The Spirit supplies and our prayers. He prays from within us. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Of course we are going to fail in word and deed but as the final verse says, it will work out for our good as God can make good come out of the worst situation for those that love Him.

With all that laid out, let’s take a look at what the catechism says prayer is in paragraph #2559. “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer. Only when we humble acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.”

Remember our discourse about Psalm 130? It ebbs and flows to a completion in God, and, as we just read, we receive this gift from the Holy Spirit who teaches us and also prays in us. As the benedictines have been forming me in the art of prayer, I am learning a lot about the rhythm of work and prayer and how they intertwine into one offering to God. A work of the body and a work of the soul. All form us into righteous people. But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy! So the fruit of living this out is joy! We should be exuding this. I am not talking about the pleasant and passing happiness feeling (though that does come sometimes) but of the deep abiding peace that comes from God and is a battle to keep. Please take Psalm 68 to form you in how to pray before God. One more verse from it, God gives the desolate a home to dwell in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a parched land. We learn by consolation and desolation where to turn. (See Season 1 Episode 11).

Prayer is both a movement of the heart as an expression of deeper realities, an art (meaning what is in our very core you know where your heart is there is your treasure) and a work that starts with the senses and moves the heart. For example a sunset that brings out gratitude or reading holy scripture or other holy books and we are moved by the work of the mind to bring it to our heart to be treasured. So these two aspects of prayer are spiritual that can be sensed and expressed and physical that can be seen and moves. Turning to our Gospel passage, let’s take a look and see what Jesus’ attitude is in accordance with this work of the heart.

Luke 13:10-17. Let’s put this story into context. It is a Sunday. Sundays are made for our Mass of one hour and for rest from the other part of the week. This rest can involve any number of things to help us relax. Relaxation is an art. If you go to either extreme (doing nothing to do everything) damage is caused. Sometimes us humans just need a day to keep the jammies on and veg out. We all need a day that breaks up the routine and we need that time with friends and family. We need to be able to put aside our tasks and rhythms to a certain degree to stay close to Jesus and just have that time to not think too hard. We can’t constantly be doing. We need down time. So don’t feel guilty for sitting down in the evening with a cup of tea and prayer or a bit of another hobby or journaling or reading or time to just soak in praying music. These things bring peace and refreshment. That being said, let’s turn to our gospel account.

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. Don’t we all have something? A cross to carry like fatigue or other health issues. (a spirit of infirmity) Perhaps it is emotional upheaval or a difficult circumstance or wound. We have to remember this is a world with good and bad spirits. Like fear, self-condemnation, selfishness, gluttony, lack of faith, promiscuity, financial ruin, and others. These are the bad principalities and spirits. A good spirit would be trust, generosity, charity, a healthy self-love, stewardship, holiness of heart, justice, prudence. See how they are exact opposites? The specific formula for battle is “In the name of Jesus and by the power of His most precious blood, I take authority over___(spirit of infirmity ect. I just listed a bunch) and I bind it. So after that,  when you are praying against these principalities and spirits, it is necessary to pray for the opposite virtue so we can be a source of blessing for others. Only you can do this for yourself and you can also help others to do this by helping them say this prayer for themselves.

And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?”

Just wow! His work is freeing this woman from her spirit of infirmity. This says a lot of how we work in prayer. Service to others. Healing others through God’s power. Praying for others needs and actually fulfilling them when you can. Being the active hand and fruit of prayer for others. When you get an inspiration when praying, then do it when you have finished your prayer. (Does the Annunciation ring any bells?) When we have done this it is important to pray, “Jesus let one drop of your precious blood cleanse me and my family and the people you were just with to protect us from the onslaught of the enemy. Sundays and rest times are for spending time with Jesus in prayer and carrying out what He asks out of love. Prayer has so many methods, but we need to have the simplicity of St. Therese to glance at Jesus and actively save souls (and our own). My homework for you is the following video from Acsension Presents with Sr. Alicia Torres! https://youtu.be/8pFb3MVgIgM?si=BLNLVJAFIKcXPFfz
If something touched you, share it with a friend. I would also like to hear from you. You can always reach me by emailing twoheartstruehealing@outlook.com or on my website at www.twoheartstruehealing.com. I am praying for you, until next time! God Bless!

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