Year of Prayer: Why does prayer lead us to service?

by Mike Malcom

Earlier this month, Father Jack gave a short reflection on Saint Kateri Tekawitha. Mary Martinovich found many moments in the Bible when the author breaks into a song of praise and thanksgiving. Jon Strickler crafted a beautiful metaphor of prayer being like a river.

As we end November, I’m here to explore how praise leads to charitable acts, how prayer leads to service.

When I pray prayers of praise and thanksgiving, it helps to put me in my place. When I pray in adoration of our all-powerful God, I realize my dependence on Him for everything I have.

Many years ago I took a college class on metaphysics. My professor made sure we were aware that every human is a contingent being – a person dependent upon his Creator. God is like the author of a book, creating characters. God’s potency is so great that His characters spring to life. He has written us into His great book and has animated us.

If we do good only out of fear of punishment, we are like slaves. If we do good only for wages, we are like mercenaries. But if we do good out of love of God, we are His children. – Saint Basil, paraphrased

When I think about how God took the time to create me, animate me, and love me, my only response is amazement and gratitude. It makes me look for a way to express my gratitude. Sometimes I set aside time to do an organized service project. More often, I look for little ways to do small acts of charities.

Prayer – especially prayers of praise – always leads to service.

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