11 March 2024 at 00:00:00 JST

Prayer is the breathing of the soul, District Apostle Enrique Eduardo Minio of South America says. In his reflections on our annual motto, he tells us what we need to do so that we can breathe freely.


On the way to the goal, a fundamental tool is our prayer to God. It is described as the “breathing of the soul” (Catechism 13.1). Prayer works! But what happens if there is something that is causing an obstruction in our heart?

First, we need to answer another question, “Which obstacles could these be?”

In praising …

If Adam and Eve had spoken with God before making their decision, they might not have fallen into sin. They did not express their doubt openly because they did not trust Him.

From this story emerges one of the obstacles: doubt about God, lack of trust in God, which leads us to seek alternative plans to His will. To worship God, we must have no other gods before Him. Let us value His majesty, His omnipotence, and His omnipresence.

In thanking …

Our thankfulness in prayer should be comprehensive and genuine. Our earthly projects could become an obstacle if, in our efforts to achieve them, we jeopardise our relationship with God. If we must make decisions that are outside His will in order to realise them, we should drop them. Often greed, excessive ambition, comparing ourselves with others, jealousy, and envy stand in the way of our appreciating what God has given us.

In petitions …

The Lord’s agenda for us in His plan of salvation often does not coincide with our own wishes and ideas. Sometimes, we ask God for changes in our life which are not conducive to our reaching the goal of eternal fellowship. But if our petitions focus on our salvation, we will see how God’s agenda coincides with ours. Let us be steadfast and patient, as the persistent widow in the parable (Luke 18: 1–8). Let us also pray without giving up, as the parable of the friend at midnight illustrates (Luke 11: 5–10). Jesus emphasised that one fervent prayer works. And let us pray in a humble way, as the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector teaches us (Luke 18: 10–14).

In intercession …

We have been called to serve God and our neighbour. In our prayers, egoism should not stifle the love for our neighbour. Resentment and unwillingness to forgive diminish the effectiveness of our prayers. Let us intercede for those around us without prejudice, but in a loving, dedicated, and steadfast way. Let us pause when praying for their needs and intercede for the salvation of the soul. Let us never think that our prayers for our neighbour are in vain.

In summary, some of the obstacles we have to overcome when praying are:

  • in praising: doubt and mistrust
  • in thanking: greed, excessive ambition, jealousy, and envy
  • in asking: inconstancy, impatience, lukewarmness, and arrogance
  • in interceding: egoism, resentment, prejudice, resignation, and irreconcilability.

Let us prepare our heart. We have a lot to think about to remove the obstacles in our heart before praying to God.

Because prayer works!


Author: Enrique Eduardo Minio


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