“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” 1Co 13:11
DEVELOPMENT AND EFFECT ON PRAYER LIFE
1.Images of God in each phase of growth
Infancy: Image of God takes after parents….loving, etc.
Adolescence: Image of God grows through questioning ….age of inquiring.
Adulthood: Image of God continues to change through teaching of Church and personal encounter the presence with God in Prayer.
Old Age (Maturity): Seeing God in all his creation big and small, listening to God in silent prayer; God experience deepens and widens in everyday happenings in the service of poor and needy; every day is a new creation calling for new response.
2. Right and Wrong Images of God
Punishing God vs Loving & Forgiving God. A God who will not let me suffer vs “suffering” as a child of God.
3. How these images of God affect attitude in Praye
If the image of God is of fear, then prayer is to appease God who watches my every move as a policeman. If God is like Santa Claus; prayer will always be asking for wants, etc. When prayers not answered, we question ‘Why God?’ We get discouraged, God is not listening, why pray?
4. Images of God need to grow to reach maturity in Spiritual life
Constantly praying for God’s grace to see what He wants me to see, to hear what He wants me to hear; praying for a discerning heart to do the things that please Him. Detachment, what it means. Worldly vs Heavenly. Self-centreness vs Christocentric.
As Christian and prayer go hand in hand, we need to be fully aware of where I am in my understanding of the images of God correctly; then prayer becomes sincere and childlike leading to a closer union with the Lord. Open to the Holy Spirit to transform me to be a balanced Catholic. Filled with the Wisdom of God, “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). It’s what St. Peter exhorts us to do: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
“Sometimes we will make mistakes. But God can use even our clumsy efforts to build his Kingdom.” 1 Peter 3:15
Jesus’ Death and Resurrection: The gift of eternal life upon our death should “transform the way we live daily.” This gift should help us overcome the greed of materialism and accept our illness, pains and trials more meaningfully because we are meant to live forever with God.
“God is always present to accompany us in our daily living” John17:1-7
Have you matured spiritually? If you reflect on your spiritual journey over the past one, two, five years, can you say that you have grown in your relationship with the Lord.