Building a House of Prayer from Bishop Michael Langrish
Nothing is possible without prayer, all is possible with prayer and faith. With their lack of faith the people of Nazareth even prevented the Lord from working miracles (Luke: 4, 21 - 30). When they didn't pray and fast, the disciples themselves were not able to cure people; Prayer overcomes the helplessness of women and men. It goes beyond what is believed impossible and allows God to intervene in this world with his infinite power.
James writes in his letter: "And when you ask, you do not receive because your motives are wrong; you ask for things to use for your own pleasure " ( James: 4: 3 ). The present coronavirus crisis is reminding us all of our vulnerability to what we cannot control. While using all the gifts that God has given us to work together constructively and creatively for what serves the common good , each of us also has to face the reality that individually and together we are, at root, all in need of love, healing and hope. With this greater awareness, we can then stretch out our hands to the Lord, and the Lord, gracious Father and friend of humankind, will answer with generosity beyond all expectations.
Prayer appears weak to the eyes of many people. But, when it is full of faith in the Lord, prayer is strong indeed. It can break down walls, fill voids, uproot violence and increase mercy. Praying together is indeed holy and blessed; it is necessary for the life of every disciple and for the life of the Community, but it is also necessary for the very life of the world. It is written: "Whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you my Father in heaven" (Mt 18; 19). That is why disciples of Jesus must persevere in common prayer and together be bold in our intercession for the world of which we are but a part. Prayer, far from being a sign of weakness, is a powerful weapon in the hands of those whose hearts are open to God. Waiting on God in prayer is the means of opening ourselves to the infinite resources and strength God offers us. it has the power to counter evil and increases love.
At the present time we may not be able to gather together for worship in the ways to which we have become accustomed and which mean so much to us. But when we join together in prayer we may see it as part of a "virtual" but very real church which gathers everyone in a single invocation to God.
In so doing, we can make ours the words of the apostle Peter: "Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by man as worthless but chosen by God as valuable. Come as living stones and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple, where you will serve as Holy priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ "(1 Peter 2, 4 - 5).