Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Catholic Hermit on Prayer as "Soliciting"

Just following my previous post in which I describe a situation in which someone felt that his son asking a friend to help him carry sheetrock for me was a terrible form of "soliciting", it came to me that prayer is actually soliciting.  Or soliciting is actually praying!

And this thought surely came from the Holy Spirit.  I Googled the definition of the word "solicit", and sure enough, it describes prayer--other than the definition that is culturally honed as in soliciting for a prostitute.  But that is not the actual definition but an interpolation as a use that "soliciting" has taken on in a certain illegal (in most countries) activity.  

Now, this is yet another way of up-ending the tricks of the devil.  Take some aspect that stands out or is particularly irritating in how the devil has tried to cause unrest, ugliness, to foil plans and progress.  In my case with the neighbor, it was his repeated use of the word "solicit" and gerund or present participle, "soliciting."  

Then when the Holy Spirit touched the word with inspiration that it is actually a term with meaning describing the process by which we communicate with God--prayer--the attempt to cast it all into some distracting, negative discouragement suddenly becomes light and purpose and even de-light!

The following definition amazingly expresses and describes the usual purpose for our praying.  However, I note that when I was asked "Are you praising God?", that praising God is related to prayer in that it is a communication with God.  Yet praising God is in a category of its own in other aspects, as a form of uttered love whether or not uttered aurally or interiorly as praise of silence is powerfully effective with focused love of God and joy in being within His Real Presence.

Solicit:  ask for or try to obtain (something) from someone [God]

synonyms: ask for, request, seek, put in for, call for, press for, beg, plead for....

Origin: late Middle English from Old French soliciter, from Latin solicitare 'agitate,' from sollicitus 'anxious,' from sollus 'entire' + citus (past participle of cierre 'set in motion').

We can see from the above origins that each descriptor of word parts are aspects very much involved in the process of prayer.  We solicit, we may be agitated or anxious as a reason for praying--for asking God to help us, etc.  We put our entire desires and hopes and needs before God in our prayers with the intention of setting in motion our communication with Him which always results in His responding in some way, form, or manner.

I praise God for the insights and beauty of learning more about prayer from the aspect of the beautiful meanings and evolution of the word solicit!  I love the reality that today and most days and nights, my prayers indeed are solicitations of God.  And, I also love the revelation that praising God is something other than soliciting yet is a communication with God that gives glory and love without asking for or trying to obtain something from Him.

God gives us both and no doubt many other variations of praying and praising as holy communications with Him!  

[A simplified, direct statement of the above, I realized, is what I wrote to an adult daughter on the topic: Praising God is different from praying, as praising asks for nothing from God but rather gives God sole glory.

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