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Friendship with God


“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer 19:13)

 prayerSt Theresa teaches us that “prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God”. It’s a friendship with Him. Our motivation towards prayer must always be our love towards God. It is because we love Him that we feel impelled to overcome all the challenges it entails. Therefore, prayer is a dialogue of love. Prayer is a gift from God and not a result of our own efforts. We can affirm that the One who makes the first move is always God. It is the Lord who takes the initiative to develop a relationship with us. That is why prayer is not only a healthy desire of our hearts but more than that it is GOD’S LONGING DESIRE.

We all have a prayerful heart within us that must be worked out, developed in order to grow into the Gift of Prayer. To work it out means to welcome His grace. A prayerful heart it is not something that we must buy with our own efforts but something we must freely welcome. This heart is to be accomplished throughout our entire life. It is an exercise, a continuous and assiduous exercise. It is truly a coming into terms with God in loyalty and sincerity.

In prayer, it is God who starts the dialogue. Our first step is just to ask the Holy Spirit and to open our hearts so that, as He works within us, He teaches us how to talk to the Father. When we cry out with a sincere heart the Holy Spirit starts to put things in order. Yes, so many times our souls finds itself in a complete mess without the Holy Spirit to ordain and bring quietness. Without His help it is impossible to please the Father.

When the Holy Spirit begins to work I can forget myself and the things around me and turn to God. When I decide to start a life of prayer God will not allow me to be the same person as in each encounter the Holy Spirit comes with His light and reveal WHO IS GOD AND WHO AM I. This self-knowledge is essential for us to realise that we are not perfect and that we don’t need to be perfect to be able to relate to God. In prayer we do not have to worry about getting distracted, not having vain thoughts, what we have to say or in being this or that to God. We only have to LOVE A LOT and this is the essential.

When we approach God wearing masks of ‘do-gooders’ and not with our sins and the unkindness of our hearts we are only bringing the house already settled to Him which means that I don’t need the Holy Spirit to come and re-arrange what’s within. I cannot please God if my heart is not sincere before Him since a friendship relationship means honesty and truth in order to know the other and allow myself to be known. We must be like the Publican who beat his breast praying “Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk 18:13) and not like the Pharisee who kept justifying himself, his work and denying the truth (Lk 18:11-12). Humility is an essential virtue. It helps us to allow God to take the first step and initiate the dialogue of love.

In the beginning of a new friendship, some steps are really necessary:

∙     Mutual choice – to be chosen without choosing the other person or to choose a person and not be chosen by him are not enough to develop a healthy friendship. When I choose someone and that person also chooses me, friendship can grow throughout joy and sorrow. God is the friend Who will always choose and keep choosing you. And the possibility for us to also choose Him is open.

∙     Openness – friendship is a self-giving act. I may think that I have nothing to give to God and only have a receptive attitude towards Him. He does not need anything but He gently receives whatever we have to give out of love. We are called to love Him and accept being loved by Him.

∙     Honesty – St Theresa said that truth is fundamental in prayer. One has to be transparent, sincere and truthful when coming to prayer.

∙     Loyalty – we know that God will never fail on us and that He is always faithful (I Cor 1:9) to us. On the other hand, He also teaches us to be likewise. It is certain that if you set a time to be with Him, He will be there an hour earlier eagerly to see you. Then we will be impelled not to allow Our Friend to keep waiting for us alone.

When the Lord has chosen us He invited us to be His friends. Ours is the wonderful task to answer with commitment and interest in this Divine proposal. Undoubtedly, this is an answer of love from someone who loves and knows that is loved by the Him.

Now, what is your answer?


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