Praying with Unwearied Desire

St. Augustine sees the desire for God at the heart of prayer. We need to “pray always with unwearied desire.” Prayer is not bringing a list of our needs to God, who already knows them. It begins with the thirst we have for the One who loves us and gives us life.

Just as we set aside certain times to eat because we’re not always aware of our hunger, so we set aside times to pray, because we’re not aware of our desire. We need to put aside certain times to pray.

“At set times and seasons we pray to God in words, so that by these signs we may instruct ourselves and mark the progress we have made in our desire, and spur ourselves on to deepen it. “

The words of prayer are teachers of prayer, we grow in prayer by paying attention to them.

“The more fervent the desire, the more worthy will be its fruit. When the Apostle tells us: Pray without ceasing, he means this: Desire unceasingly that life of happiness which is nothing if not eternal, and ask it of him who alone is able to give it.” (Letter to Proba)

“O Lord, open my lips.”
“O God, come to my assistance.”

The liturgy begins with these short prayers, asking God to stir up the gift of prayer within us, especially a desire for the God of all. Desire itself is a gift of God.

4 thoughts on “Praying with Unwearied Desire

  1. Berta

    Sometimes I feel that I don’t tell my God how much I love Him and how much I desire His presence in my life. But He knows!
    You, my God are my life, my love and my salvation in You I put my trust!!! Thank You my Triune God, forgive my neglect.


  2. Gloria

    Two more thoughts on prayer:

    Do not hesitate or be afraid to throw yourself on Me.
    I will not draw back and let you fall.
    Put your worries aside and throw yourself on Me.
    I will welcome you and heal you.
    -St. Augustine of Hippo

    Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed,
    The motion of a hidden fire that trembles in the breast.
    Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear,
    The upward glancing of an eye when none but God is near.
    -James Montgomery (1771-1854)


  3. cenaclemary12

    Set aside time to pray!
    A good thing to do each day.
    I have pen and journal book,
    Open the daily Word,
    Take a Lectio look.
    Then prayer emerges
    From head to heart,
    Onto the paper page,
    Written with praise.
    Holy Spirit love surges!


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