Commitment to Prayer

A year and a half ago I made a commitment to prayer. I set a specific goal during that Lent to pray for ten minutes each day—not fifteen, and not five, but exactly ten minutes—just me and God. I knew that a specific commitment like that was what I needed. If I told myself that I would “pray every day,” I knew that I would likely be too lenient with myself and would count my mealtime and family prayer as “enough” (even if my conscience would have bothered me a bit).

I didn’t specifically plan for my daily prayer commitment to continue after Easter, but I knew that it should. Of course, I realized that while my life may not have been particularly easier, I was definitely more joyful and thought more clearly about my priorities when I was in the habit of daily personal prayer. While it was hard to start prayer each day, I was so thankful when I did. And so I kept going, and even renewed my commitment last Advent when I’d started getting lazy.

Now God is calling me through St. Peter’s Commitment Weekend. Not only is He asking me to once again make a
commitment to daily prayer, but I know He wants me to increase the amount of time I spend with Him. To be completely honest, I feel guilty that, right now, I can rarely fit in ten minutes of purposeful prayer each day; I mean really, that’s what—just over an hour each week? It would be embarrassing to track the amount of time I spend on Facebook each week in comparison. Can I truly not give more time to God… or do I just not feel like it?

When I’m falling asleep at night I realize, more often than not, that I didn’t pray that day. I had put it off, thinking I’d get to it later (you know, when I don’t have as much to do). I can come up with a hundred excuses, none of them really valid. There will always be more excuses. In the end, it all comes down to this: I believe that God gave me life. And therefore, He gave me my family, my talents, my job… my everything. Do you believe the same? If so, we should be offering all of it back to God.  Not 10%, not 50%, but all of it; to make our life a prayer with how we treat people, how we spend our time, how we use our money, and how we share our gifts.

I am taking this weekend as an opportunity to make a new, purposeful, and prayerful commitment with my time. I know I will be better for it, and thankful for it.  Even when I don’t feel like I have the time, it’s worth it.

The funny thing is, if you want to give God your time, money, talent, etc., He will always make it possible for you. You will receive the graces you need to shoulder the changes that come with your commitment. As St. Paul told the Philippians in today’s second reading, “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

What is God asking YOU to give?

We are inviting parishioners to make commitments in all three areas of time, talent, and treasure this weekend on your commitment card. Maybe you’re not feeling as called, like I am, to increase your time commitment. Maybe you feel the pull to meet more people at St. Peter’s by getting involved in one of our many ministries or groups. Or maybe you’re feeling called to increase your pledges in all three areas! In any case, the Church of St.Peter will be healthier and holier because of the commitments we each make as a part of the Body of Christ.

As you consider your contributions to our community, remember that besides prayer, one of the best things you can do is foster relationships. Talk to others, make friends, and consider fellow parishioners your extended family. One way to do this is to introduce yourself to others around you after Mass, such as at a table while sharing donuts and coffee. An easier way to do it would be to jump into a group or a ministry and meet people who share your talents or your goals: if you’re a mom, join the moms’ group; if you’re a man, join Men’s Club; if you like playing an instrument, join the music ministry; and so on. There is something here for everyone.

During this Commitment Weekend here at St. Peter, I hope, along with the Stewardship Committee and parish staff, that you pray about your options and listen to what God is asking of you in each of these areas as you complete and return your commitment card. Remember that God will give you what you need to grow closer to Him. Take this chance to say “yes” and make a solid, purposeful commitment to give Him your time, talents, and treasure. May you look back next year and realize that both you and our entire community are better, stronger, and holier because of the choices you made now.

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