This morning was absolutely perfect in every way imaginable. I woke up a little later than usual; my pups actually let me sleep in just a bit. The temperature was a crisp 64 degrees which, where I’m from, is cool for this time of year. There was a light breeze blowing just enough to send the wind chimes into motion, playing a sweet, relaxing tune. The birds were wide awake and floating from tree to tree in my neighbor’s yard, chattering about this and that. The dogs were walked and had made their way back to bed and were fast asleep. The coffee was brewed and I decided to take advantage of the peace and quiet and sit out front and say my rosary.
Normally when I say my rosary, I like to offer up each decade for someone or something different. Some of my favorite prayers are said for family or friends who are struggling, for our priests and seminarians, for the souls in purgatory, or my personal favorite…for those who have no one to pray for them. This morning as I was getting started something occurred to me. Why is it that I rarely pray for myself?
I think, for me, I use my prayer time to thank God for the many blessings in my life and to ask for help for others who may need prayer more than I feel I do. But in the grand scheme of things, I should really be praying for myself on a daily basis. I feel selfish praying for myself, I mean, there are so many people in this world who need God’s help way more than I do, right? It took me a while to understand that that’s not how God works.
I believe God loves and appreciates when we pray for others, but He also loves when we come to Him to speak on our own behalf; when we ask for the grace to live our lives better, to serve Him better, to love Him better. In doing these things we are in fact helping others. Praying for God to help us be more like Him helps us to be His hands and feet in this world; to love as He loved and to do as He did in this world through his Son.
I believe that praying for oneself is an act of humility rather than one of selfishness because it shows that we understand that we are nothing without Him. We can’t do anything in this world without our Father’s loving guidance and grace…and He is more than happy to give it to us if only we ask.
So friends, during your prayer time please stop and take a moment to ask our Heavenly Father to bless you with His grace and mercy. It’s not a selfish thing to do…we need it just as much as all those we pray for.