Difficulties in Prayer
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However we do mental prayer, we can be sure of encountering difficulties. Some have already been mentioned: dryness, distaste, a sense of our own worthlessness, the feeling the effort to pray is useless.
The first thing to say about such difficulties is that they should not come as a surprise or cause us to worry or be upset. Not only are they inevitable, they are actually good for us. They purify our love for God and strengthen our faith.
Distractions are one of the more common difficulties in prayer. They are absolutely normal and should neither surprise nor sadden us. When we realize that we have become distracted from our prayer and our thoughts are wandering, rather than getting discouraged or angry, we should simply, peacefully and gently bring our minds back to God.
- Time for God, p.96
Many people today are thirsty for God and feel a desire for an intense, personal prayer life that is deep and ongoing. But they encounter obstacles that prevent them from following the path seriously, and especially from persevering on it. Time for God was written with these desires and difficulties in mind.
In Time for God, author Jacques Philippe mainly concentrates on mental prayer: prayer that consists of facing God in solitude and silence for a time in order to enter into intimate, loving communion with him. Practicing this kind of prayer regularly is considered by all spiritual masters to be an indispensable path that gives access to genuine Christian life—a path to knowing and loving God that empowers us to respond to his call to holiness addressed to each individual.
Philippe draws on years of experience as a spiritual guide to illuminate the fundamental principles of mental prayer and describes some common mistakes and misconceptions that can lead it astray. With simplicity and clarity he explains the foundational principles for a healthy prayer life and gives advice for overcoming the various obstacles that arise when one sets off on the path of interior prayer.
Time for God has become an international bestseller in French and Spanish and is written by the bestselling author ofInterior Freedom, also published by Scepter.