Unlocking the Power of Prayer for a Deeper Relationship with God

Jonathan Doyle during his speaking tour

Welcome to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. Today, we delve into the transformative power of prayer, seeking to deepen our connection with God amidst the challenges of Catholic education. Join us as we explore how prayer can lighten our burdens and fill our lives with grace and mercy. Get ready for a journey of spiritual growth and renewal.

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    A Call to Catholic Educators

    Hello there. My friend, Jonathan Doyle, is with you once again. Welcome to the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. I’m glad you’re here. And I’m even more glad that you’re doing what you’re doing every single day in this precious vocation of Catholic education. Can I just be that one voice once again that reminds you that what you’re doing is important?

    If you’re listening to me today and you’re weary and your resilience has run a bit low, either the students, the colleagues, the leadership, the parents, or all of the above,  I feel like they’re wearing you down. Take heart and have courage. You were never meant to carry this alone.

    The Promise of Jesus: Light Burden and Easy Yoke

    shepherd jesus christ leading the sheep and sun light and jesus bokeh silhouette
    Jesus desires to alleviate our burdens by offering assistance through faith

    I think just yesterday I was reading that beautiful scripture with Jesus. He tells us that his yoke is easy. His burden is light. I was writing in my journal today. I asked myself the question, Jesus makes that promise to us doesn’t he, that his burden is light? And he wants us to come to him if we are weary or heavily burdened. I was writing in my journal, how do we do that? And the answer resonates as we come through it, we come to Jesus through the help of faith.

    We come to Jesus through prayer, through sacrament, and through loving his mother. We come to Jesus through the scriptures, we come to Jesus through the beauty of creation. So there’s multiple modalities, my friend, in which we can come to Jesus. But what matters is that we are coming to Jesus.

    I am convinced that this vast, technocratic, bureaucratic evidence edifice, that we call the 21st century, is passing. It is a transitory thing. The things of earth will fade away, and eternity is going to be absolutely magnificent. You are going to love it. And you’ve got to go there. You’re going home. You’re going home to Jesus. Not today, let me just be clear. But we lose track of day-to-day life in the busy grind of Catholic education, there is a great hope that awaits us. There is an incredible destiny.

    Adoption into the Household of God: A Spiritual Journey

    Child hands holding church, serving God, praying hands, house of God
    We are all beggars on the street of love, adopted into the household of God

    We’ve been adopted into the household of God. It’s like we were orphans living on the street, like so many of those orphans that were first impacted by the great teaching orders. Maurice, the Christian brothers, and the many great men and women who started small schools to reach the poor brought these young people into a relationship with God. And we’re similar. We are all—I don’t remember who first said—beggars on the street of love, role orphans until that incredible work of Christ has brought us into the family of God.

    Do you belong in the father’s house? So have courage. It wasn’t planned to say all that, but I just did. So I just poked the devil in the eye. Just preach the gospel. My friend, please make sure you’ve subscribed to this podcast. If you are listening, And you’re like, what you hear, the biggest way you can help me is just to grab the link wherever you are listening. And just send it around to some other Catholic teachers. And just say, Hey, listen to this. Then we get more teachers being encouraged and supported.

    I just want to encourage you, I have a word from the Lord. I just think you should; you know how many schools you’ve got in that reply all. Just hit it, just email everybody, just be that person, just do it. Everything else is on the website. jonathandoyle.co. You can find everything about me there. You can book me to speak live or you can find out about the consultancy work and all the other things we do, but it is all there. So check that out. And finally @jdoylespeaks on social media. So you can find me on Instagram at @jdoylespeaks. I produced a lot of content there just to encourage people. So if you are on Instagram, please just grab your phone. Come over and say good day.

    Trusting God's Provision in Daily Life

    Trust God
    Trusting God to lean into His provision for us

    All right. We’re on. Yesterday, I shared with you another beautiful quote from Sister Mary David from the beautiful book, The Joy of God, which has had such an impact on me. And she’s really talking about; in fact, here I am in the studio, but I’ve got the quote from yesterday. Can I share it with you again in case you didn’t hear it? She said,

    “When we allow ourselves to project ahead, that's when we lose heart. When we indulge our imagination in this way, It ceases to be his yoke and burden, which has always been light. And becomes one of our own making. We must renew our decision countless times a day to trust him. This way, we learned to see him in each moment. A good resolution is to promise not to worry about anything consciously, willingly, or voluntarily. I promise to let you do it.”

    It’s from Sister Mary David’s book, The Joy of God. That really hit me hard yesterday because it’s something I have to practice. Anything like me? Do you ever wake up at 2:00 AM and your brain is in 15 places and you’re like, Brain come back. Stop. We only have a few hours left till dawn. Come on, let’s get on the same team.

    So this message is a message of trusting to press into his provision for us. But I want to talk today about one of the ways we really do that. I talk so often about prayer, about a life of prayer, and about the disposition of prayer. So I think if you are a Catholic educator, you want to grow in that vocation and you want to get carried in that vocation. And you don’t want to waste a minute of your life not being what God wants you to be. Then prayer is not an option.

    Unlocking the Power of Prayer

    hands closed in prayer holding a rosary over a Bible
    Prayer is not a optional luxury; it is a fundamental aspect of our existence

    But I want to talk today about one of the ways we really do that. I talk so often about prayer, about a life of prayer, and about the disposition of prayer. So I think if you are a Catholic educator, you want to grow in that vocation and you want to get carried in that vocation. And you don’t want to waste a minute of your life not being what God wants you to be. Then prayer is not an option.

    For so many years, all over the world, with hundreds of thousands of people that I’ve spoken to in live audiences,  I worry that so many people think that when I talk about prayer, it’s an optional extra that’s  nice to have. Rather than something that is so central to our existence. How can you be in a relationship with someone that you do not talk to or listen to? How can we say that we are Christians and that we are in relationship with God? If we do not talk to him or listen to him.

    I genuinely don’t think it’s enough to be jumping in the car and banging out a couple of lines of prayer. Like, dear God, hope it all goes well? That’s not a relationship. That’s like, that’s crumbs. That is throwing crumbs into heaven. I don’t think God is an exact taskmaster. He’s not there, going well; you didn’t pray for this long today, so sorry there is no divine grace for you. He’s just desperate for the relationship.

    So, as I often say, I get up at 4:00 AM every day. And lately, I’ve just been in my downstairs office, just reading through the ratings for the day. Pressing into scripture, pressing into the office of readings. Because it’s just this magical time. It’s so quiet, it’s so peaceful. And just to have that time, that’s just for him. It’s for no one else. No one else gets that time except him every single day.

    Mother Mary Francis Xavier Cabrini's Wisdom on Prayer

    A Catholic Nun and Sister Using A Rosary and Praying
    Mother Mary Francis Xavier Cabrini's life was embedded in the relationship of prayer​

    So friends, on that topic, I want to share with you a beautiful quote from Mother Mary Francis Xavier Cabrini. Who’s very much in the news at the moment because there’s this beautiful movie that’s just come out about her. Which I think is going to bless a lot of people, but listen to what she says about prayer. She says, 

    “Prayer is powerful. It fills the earth with mercy. It makes the divine clemency. Passed from generation to generation right along the course of the centuries. Wonderful works have been achieved through prayer.”

    Wonderful works have been achieved through prayer. Powerful. She says it fills the earth with mercy. So this is a woman who faced phenomenal obstacles and just literally exhausted herself in the service of young people. So she was an educator. She’s someone with a great heart for young people, but despite all the things that she did, physical acts in the physical world. She’s telling us here that more important than that is prayer. That her life was embedded in this relationship of prayer.

    The Role of Prayer in Sanctity and Saint Recognition

    Catholic Saints Statue
    Saints are not made in a factory in heaven

    As I keep trying to tell people in seminars and keynotes, the saints are not made in a factory in heaven. I don’t know the full mystery of sanctity. But I tell people that the church doesn’t make saints. You should know this, right? 

    Catholic trivia: 101. The Catholic Church doesn’t pick people randomly and make them saints. Like the Pope goes, oh, I like them. No. The beautiful language that the church uses is that the Catholic Church does not make saints. She recognizes saints. So you have this beautiful woman who just dedicated every ounce of life to the service of Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor, but she is telling us. That’s not just what we do. It’s this disposition of prayer.

    So as I go through my day, as imperfectly as I do it, I keep trying to pray. I just keep praying for my kids, for my marriage, for you, for our work, for my health, for safety, and for the world for conversions. For the strengthening of marriages and family life all day. I just bang away at it. Do I hear trumpets? I hear God’s saying. I think what it does is change me progressively over time. It puts me in a constant state of dependence. A constant posture of dependence.

    Conclusion: Encouragement to Catholic Teachers to Press into Prayer

    Catholic Education Advocate Jonathan Doyle speaks to students within the global Catholic community
    Catholic Education Advocate Jonathan Doyle addresses Catholic students

    So, my friend. If you are praying, press in. If you are a Catholic teacher who loves their work and their faith but doesn’t make a lot of time for that relationship, can I please encourage you to begin to make it a central habit of your daily life? Because I want you to pray for your students, especially the most difficult ones. Pray for them every single day. 

    And you guy, Jonathan, I do, but it hasn’t changed anything. No, but it’s changing you. It is very difficult—not impossible, but very difficult to be very angry and dislike people that you’re praying for. It’s not impossible, but it is hard. The more that you pray for someone, the more you will find your attitudes towards them shifting.

    Pray for those who persecute us. I’m sure some of you have a couple of students that fit that bill, right? Like you got a couple of students that I thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you for testing my patience. Thank you for the gift of a calm spirit. I’m going to need it on Friday afternoon at two o’clock. But God bless you my friend, we’re having a laugh today, but this is serious stuff. 

    I want you to become all that he has created you to be. I want you to reach young people with the gospel, so let’s press into this life of prayer.

    All right. Would you make sure you’ve subscribed? Come and say hi on the website, JonathanDoyle.co. You can book me to speak at live keynotes, diocesan events, school seminars, training, and all of that stuff, consultancies all on the website. Go check it out.

    God bless you. My friend, this is Jonathan Doyle. This has been the Catholic Teacher Daily Podcast. You and I are going to talk again tomorrow.


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    Jonathan Doyle


    I’m on a mission to liberate the potential of the incredible people that make up your organisation, school, or business.

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