Author: Aristotle S. Garcia (Bataan, Philippines)
When my wife and I pray together before going to bed, our dog, Bubu, always jumps up on the settee next to us. He does this because he wants to get closer to us. As we start to pray, he puts his head on my wife’s lap, and before we say ‘Amen’, he’s asleep. With dogged devotion, he does this every night.
Bubu’s desire to be near us has taught me something about prayer. Often while praying, I focus only on what I am asking God to do for me—not on what his presence means to me. At times I cannot fully experience the benefit of the apostle Peter’s advice when he wrote, ‘Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you’ (1 Peter 5:7). It seems that I am so focused on casting my anxiety on God that I pay little attention to the part of the verse that says, ‘because he cares for you’. Now, each time I pray, I remember to focus on God and the power of his loving presence to calm my worries and fear.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember that being with you is just as important as what we are asking of you. We pray in the way that Jesus taught us, saying, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’* Amen