Virtues are something we possess. They form a part of who we are and grow when we develop good patterns of behavior we call habits. We are, and become, what we repeatedly do. This is especially important for those who desire to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
Making a habit of praying on a daily basis is essential to cultivating a more intimate relationship with the Lord. And the amount of time we give back to the Lord each day in prayer reveals the extent of our gratitude for God’s gift of those 24 hours.
A daily habit of prayer leads us to an acute awareness of God’s blessings in our lives and how we are called to use these blessings, gifts graciously bestowed upon us, in a manner that gives glory to God. There is no better way to discern how God wants us to steward our gifts than through prayer.
There is something else that happens in prayer – because we are awakened to just how generous our God is we naturally grow in the stewardship virtue of gratitude.
What do you think the two stewardship virtues are the most important? I’m hoping that you’re thinking they may be prayer and gratitude.
The better our life of prayer, the greater our sense of gratitude becomes. And as we grow in gratitude, we are motivated to spend more time in prayer, giving thanks to God.
So prayer and gratitude are both equally important as stewardship virtues.
In fact, St. Paul put the two together in his letter to the Philippians: “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything, with grateful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God” (Phil. 4:6). Gratitude leads to a greater prayer life and prayer leads to a greater attitude of gratitude.
How do you pray? When and how often do you pray? Do you pray with a grateful heart? These are good stewardship questions. Moreover, they remind us that virtues are developed by learning good habits.
By making a habit of cultivating our prayer life and developing a deeper sense of gratitude we will naturally grow in faith and become the best possible stewards and disciples that God wishes us to be. Making a habit of praying on a daily basis is essential to cultivating a more intimate relationship with the Lord.
God bless you as you begin your new week in service to the Lord’s mission for His church.