Four Ways Prayer Can Strengthen Us to Build a Culture of Life

How many times have you heard people say that prayer does nothing? They often mock us for praying during times of crises. But when disaster strikes, a person falls ill or dies, or a child is lost, sometimes the only recourse we have is prayer. After all, we cannot cure cancer, we cannot bring someone back from the dead, and we cannot undo an earthquake or a fire. But we can talk to God and ask for His mercy and love to rain down upon His people. And we can ask for ways to help alleviate some of the pain a person is enduring.

Prayer is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Without it, we have no relationship with God. Without it, we become lost. That is why prayer must be integral in our daily lives. And while we can pray anywhere and anytime, one of the most special places to pray is in front of the Holy Eucharist at Adoration.

April is the month dedicated to the Holy Eucharist. During this month, Catholics are encouraged to strengthen and deepen their devotion to Christ in the Eucharist, for we know that He is truly present—body, blood, soul, and divinity—in the Eucharist. One of the greatest times to sit and talk with God is when we are in His presence at Adoration.

I truly believe that we cannot change our actions if we don’t change our hearts. Prayer is the best way to open our hearts to God. Once we do this, we can and will make a difference in our world. So let’s look at how prayer can help us build a culture of life.

1. Prayer strengthens our resolve.

We can draw immense strength from prayer. Simply taking the time to sit and talk to God about what makes us happy and sad and thanking Him for our blessings gives us important perspectives on life and on what we are called to do for others. It’s easy to feel down when things don’t go our way, but some quiet time alone with God can help us feel refreshed, can help us see things in a different way, and can give us the strength to take action to help others.

2. Prayer gives us insight.

The time in prayer in Adoration changes our hearts because we can reflect on our lives and our behaviors and form a plan to make change. We can talk to God about what He wants for us and how He wants us to make a difference in others’ lives. Sitting quietly and talking to Him or reading through scripture gives us insight as to how He wants us to act. We can then model our lives after the saints and the good men and women in the Bible.

3. Prayer spurs us to action.

Action starts with prayer. We speak to God, and He listens. Then He speaks to us. We may not hear His actual voice, but we can feel that His will has been placed upon our hearts. We can listen to Him as He helps us make decisions for our good or the good of others. We can ask Him where He wants us, what He wants us to do, and how we can follow His command.

4. Prayer brings others closer to God.

When others see us pray, we are setting an example of how to act. And when we pray for others, we can be assured that God hears us. Remember that St. Monica prayed for her son, St. Augustine, for decades before he changed his ways. When we feel tired or distraught that our prayers have not yet been answered, we can look to her example for encouragement. Just as she never stopped praying for her son, we should never stop praying for those we know and love.

Prayer not only strengthens our relationship with God, but prayer changes us. It molds us into more faithful people who work to help others and who work to help make the world a better place—a place ruled by the tenets of our faith rather than a “live and let live” mentality.

God is our Father, and He loves us more deeply than we can ever imagine. This month, let us take extra time to go sit with Him in Adoration and to build the relationship we both crave.

This article first appeared in the Catholic World Report at catholicworldreport.com/2024/04/15/how-prayer-can-strengthen-us-and-help-build-a-culture-of-life.

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About the author

Susan Ciancio

Susan Ciancio is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine and executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program.