We may be in dire circumstances; but we should always know that God is there with us.


Matthew’s gospel includes very plain teaching about practicing various “righteous deeds” – almsgiving, prayer, and fasting – “in order that people may see them.”  From a distance, these practices seem desirable regardless of the interior motivation.  After all, the poor still benefit from alms given by one with self-laudatory motives.  And isn’t trying to pray or to master your desires at least a step in the right direction?  Surely this beats blasphemy and gluttony!

Prayer isn’t some secret language of fancy phrases; there aren’t any magic formulae to make God hear us, or act upon our requests. When we speak to God in our everyday normal speaking language, we are praying. Jesus prayed constantly and talked a lot about prayer. He knew that prayer releases God’s power into any situation and renews our spiritual strength to handle anything in life. Whenever the pressure on Him became overwhelming, Jesus went to a private place and prayed. But, just as He knew that God was the source of His strength, Jesus knew, equally well, that God is always poised, ready to help us in times of trouble. He may not release us from a trial, but stand with us as we go through it. We may be in dire circumstances; but we should always know that God is there with us. If we really, really trust Him, God has promised that everything will work out for our ultimate welfare.

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