Prayer is at the heart of the Christian life, yet too often we allow the days to slip by without ever turning to God in prayer. On the day of his ascension, the Lord Jesus issued his final, and perhaps strongest, mandate to the disciples. They were to go out into the world, baptizing people and telling of the commands of the Lord. Rather than jumping right to the task, the disciples gathered with others in prayer. They had learned from the words and deeds of the Master that in order to do God’s work, they had to nurture their relationship with God through prayer. We have heard Gospel accounts of Jesus retreating into a faraway place in order to spend time in prayer. The night before he died, knowing all to which he was about to be subjected, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with his disciples. Now his disciples, in the days leading up to Pentecost, follow the way of the Master by spending time in prayer.


             Perhaps God is calling us to take a serious look at our own prayer lives today. A friend of mine who recently stopped smoking told me that it was because of prayer that he was able to become free of his nicotine addiction. He said that when he really needed help he simply started talking to God, out loud. While driving to work, he would ask God for help. He said that drivers stopped in traffic next to him would give him strange looks, but that didn’t matter. He needed God’s help and his approach was quite simple. In order to do the work of helping to build God’s kingdom here on earth, we must turn to God in prayer for strength. Let us be inspired by the disciples, Mary the Mother of God, as well as the other women and men who gathered in the upper room, awaiting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.