1 Peter 3:12 says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers.”
What is Righteousness?
A person is righteous in the eyes of God when he/she has right relationship with God and with self, (guided by constructive self-love as opposed to destructive self-love), with family members, with others and with the environment.
We can rightly infer that our prayers – Thanksgiving, Praise, Worship and Petitions become powerful when we love God. First and foremost let us thank and praise God for the gift of life. There could have been a situation where I am not created. I do not exist. Also for Redemption. Are not all other gifts secondary?
How do we love God?
We love God, when we obey all his Commandments and follow his teachings. Because in John 14: 15 to 17, Jesus says. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments ….” So, observing Jesus’s commandments and teachings is equivalent to loving God. If anyone has not yet possessed, emotional intimacy with God, no cause for guilt feeling. Keep asking for it. Some Saints gained this privilege. Two examples are: – St. Anthony with child Jesus and St. Theresa (Little Flower) holding the Crucifix close to her chest with affection and sorrow.
What do we gain by loving God?
In Isaiah 48:18 to 19, God says, “O that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your prosperity would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand…..”
James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.”
Here, ‘Confess’ means, to acknowledge my offence against the other and seek forgiveness from the victim. (This teaching from St. James could be based on Jesus’ teaching given in Mt.5:23 to 24). This ‘Confess’ differs from the ‘Sacrament of Confession’ in which forgiveness from God is sought for the ‘Sin dimension’ against God. Sin has various dimensions. ‘You may be healed’ – spiritual healing and physical healing.
John 15:7 to 17:- Jesus says, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you…..” When we thus abide in God, we are guided through inspiration, through people and from events, to ask only that which is beneficial for us, for family members and for others. Also in times of illness, hardship and pains, we will possess the ‘fortitude’ to joyfully endure them and take appropriate remedial measures.
We will join the Psalmist in singing Psalm 23, as we experience it being fulfilled in us. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name sake…. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.”