Romans 12:12: Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Because in Isaiah 53:5, he said that “by His stripes (wounds) we are healed”. Since that is true, we ought to be meditating on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ at every opportunity. St. Padre Pio received the stigmata of Jesus while meditating on His passion.
These 4 different types are mostly ignored by most pray-ers, except for the last one, supplication. Supplication means to ask for favors. Adoration is the best type of prayer, because you are adoring God for what He is – Everlasting, Almighty, All Knowing, All Holy, All Good, All Powerful, The Best Father Ever, etc. Contrition is the next best, because you are expressing sorrow for your sins. Remember the tax collector in Luke 18 who beat his breast saying “Have mercy on me a sinner”. Jesus said that he went home justified, while the self righteous Pharisee did not. The third type of prayer, Thanksgiving, is also very important. How do we feel when we go the extra mile for someone else’s benefit and they don’t even come back to thank us? Jesus cured 10 lepers, but only one came back to thank him in Luke 17:15-16. This was not seen as a positive by Jesus. We all have received many favors from God, so let’s all take a vow to start thanking Him for them all, right now.
The truth is that the people who use all 4 types of prayer from the heart have more of a chance of getting their prayers answered than those who just ask for stuff all of the time, like God is some kind of celestial slot machine – You put a few prayers in, and out comes the jackpot, as ordered. Of course, the real purpose of prayer is not that God should be united to our will here on earth, but that we should be united to His will in Heaven. The prayers “Thy will be done” and “be it done to me according to thy word” were given to us by Jesus and Mary. We should not only imitate them in saying these prayers ourselves, but we should also really desire the meaning of these prayers in our lives.
Some people get discouraged in their prayers because they see so many successful people all around them who never pray, but who are rich, live in nice big homes, and travel to exotic places all of the time. But remember, God is blessing these people NOW. Christians should never be worried about being comfortable and rich in this life. Christians should just do the will of the Father, which is taking care of your family, feeding the poor, visiting the sick, etc. This is all spelled out for us all in Matthew 25. The ones who don’t get into heaven in those verses didn’t do the work of God that they were supposed to do. By doing the work for God now, we will be blessed in heaven many times over after we die (Matthew 19:29 & John 14:2-3), when it really matters.
God freely gives us grace, which increases our faith in Jesus, which in turn leads to good works, justification, and salvation. The reason Jesus cursed the fig tree is because it bore no fruit (Mark 11:21). Good works are the fruit of our faith(Colossians 1:10). Having faith in Christ without performing good works as a result of that faith is like having a full tank of gas in the car but never starting it up to go anywhere. It just sits there doing no one any good.
True faith in Christ means being a doer of the word, and not just a hearer (James 1:22). So if you want to get into heaven, read the following scripture quotes and go out into the world and imitate the life of Christ by performing as many good works as you can, out of love, of course. It may be your cross to bear (Mark 8:34), but that’s OK. We are commanded to do them by Jesus –
John 14:12:“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.”
Matthew 18:3: and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Love, Hope, Faith, Humility, Obedience, Perseverance
Dear Lord, My God, why is it hard to please You and understand You?