Prayers of healing, surrender, and recollection illustrate trust in God’s unfailing mercy.
Throughout the New Testament, we read how the disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, went about praying with people: for their conversion, healing, deliverance, or whatever their needs were. These prayers, prayed in the power of the Holy Spirit, transformed people’s lives. Prayer is not just for us as individuals, or even for us to use to intercede for others while in the privacy of our homes, but to bring the power of prayer to the marketplace, to the ballfield, to work, and to school. God’s healing can come in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual forms, but it can also manifest as deliverance, wisdom, hope, love, and so much more. The Holy Spirit delivers gifts to us so we, God’s partners in prayer, can bring his healing to our hurting world.
Recollection is a style of prayer that comes from the writings of many prayer masters in the Church, including Sts. Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux. They each speak of it a bit differently, but all have the same common element: to always be aware and attentive to God’s presence in us and around us, and to be united with God in a holy union.
Br. Lawrence of the Resurrection (1614–91, a Carmelite) was a simple man whose duties involved mundane kitchen tasks. In The Practice of the Presence of God, a collection of his writings and conversations, Br. Lawrence speaks about a way of prayer where he holds firmly to the truth that God is ever present, and therefore we can pray by turning our attention to him. Scripture affirms this, stating, “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Br. Lawrence believed that prayer does not require special holy places or mountaintop experiences; a simple glance united him with God in each moment. Some describe this as a practiced habit of being with God.
In a similar way, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880–1906, a Carmelite nun canonized in 2016) wrote of living each day, each moment abiding with the indwelling Holy Trinity. “It seems to me I have found heaven on earth, since heaven is God, and God is in my soul,” she wrote. If asked, people will usually say they want to go to heaven, but they may not consider the truth of what heaven is: being with God. He is the one who designed prayer to prepare and transform us for the life to come.
Prayers of healing, surrender, and recollection illustrate trust in God’s unfailing mercy. God, despite our failings, wants only the best for us, his beloved. When we can remember this great truth, we realize there is nothing he wouldn’t do to enable us to spend eternity with him—including allowing the death of his own Son!
Adapted from Prayer 101: Foundation for Faith and Formation by Theresa A. Jones, copyright © 2022 (Liguori Publications, 828591). To order, call 800-325-9521 or visit Liguori.org.