The Role and Importance of Faith and Trust in Prayer

Sometimes, it can be hard to find a path during prayer because our minds become too clouded with the everyday motions of our lives. I find myself often in the midst of prayer, saying the words of prayers, but my mind is wandering, not focused on Christ. Mother Teresa says “If we only “say” prayers then naturally you may not be praying. To pray means to be completely united to Jesus in such a way as to allow him to pray in us, with us, for us, through us! This cleaving to each other, Jesus and I, is prayer. We are called to pray like this.” She reassures us that this happens to everyone and gives us a components that can help us focus during the time of prayer in the book “I Thirst.” In this book, she reflects on the how Faith and Trust are important components to prayer and thirsting for Christ. 

Faith is very important during prayer because it opens up the door for the Lord to come into our souls. We must allow the Lord to enter into our souls through prayer so that he can intercede into our everyday lives, especially when we run into the temptation of sin which is when we need him the most. Mother Teresa says that there are two types of faith that allow Christ to enter into our lives. The first type is active faith, which invites Christ into our lives through our everyday actions. This is seen especially in how we treat and serve others. For example, helping your next door elderly neighbor take out their trash or cooking a meal for those who live in a homeless shelter. These actions are humbling and are the ones similar to Christ’s actions on earth which is why he will come into our lives when we serve others. The second type of faith is passive which invites the Holy Spirit into our lives through adoration, communion, praise, etc. Through these types of faith, we are able to let Christ into our lives through faith in prayer. 

Trust is another important part of prayer. Many times in our lives, we doubt the Lord because we have a tragedy take place. It is hard to trust the Lord when he lets such terrible things take place. Though it can be hard to trust God in these times, we must always turn back to him for he has a reason for all that takes place. Mother Teresa says “Loving trust is only the fruit of total surrender. You cannot have trust unless you are one with a person. Total surrender and loving trust are twins.” Trust in prayer is important because it also allows the Lord to enter into our lives to help grow in faith. Mother Teresa gives us 3 tasks for praying to have trust and faith in Christ. The first is to clear away any thoughts that may cause our minds to wander during prayer. The second task is to open our minds through acts of faith outside of prayer like the ones mentioned earlier, such as acts of service for others. The final task is surrendering ourselves to the Lord in our faith and daily lives. These three tasks can help to order our prayer to focus on Christ. 

Along with trust and faith, the Holy Spirit helps us in prayer to focus on Christ. Roman 8:26 states “The spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” With the Holy Spirit, our prayer is guided and lead to focus on Christ. Throughout trust and faith, our prayer can be focused on Christ and avoid any kind of wandering in the mind.                                                                                

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