Finding God on Gannon’s campus

Taking time for God physically and consistently


Sara Greb

“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40).
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus questions Peter and the other Apostles why they could not stay awake and be present with him before he was to enter into his passion.
This Biblical passage reminds us of God’s longing for our spiritual presence with him. An important question we must ask ourselves: are we taking the time to be with God?
As college students, our daily lives are filled with seemingly endless responsibilities and opportunities. The weeks are filled with classes, homework, tests, sport practices, club meetings, hanging out with friends and many more activities that consume our time.
Yet, with all the time we spend on these obligations, how many of us actually stop and talk to the God who desires to hear from us?
Prayer is an essential tool that spiritually connects us with God. It allows us to shift the focus away from ourselves and instead look to the Lord and our relationship with him. But, what should we pray about?
Often, people will only pray in times of need, worry or despair. While we are called to pray to God during these times, we are also called to talk to him in our joy and amid the ordinary of our everyday lives.
We should not limit and deprive ourselves of the daily opportunity to pray about anything and everything that is on our hearts. It is also crucial that we take the time to thank the Lord for the abundant blessings in each of our lives.
However, the thought of prayer can be intimidating to some people. When I have so much to say, what do I say? How do I begin?
When overwhelmed with how to pray, I encourage you to start with the prayer the Lord has given to us: the “Our Father.”
Also, one may be inclined to ask: so what? What do I get from prayer?
In prayer we receive God’s peace, grace and much more. However, it is not always what we get from prayer, but what we give. We give the Lord ourselves when we sacrifice our time to be with him. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
But how do we take time for God when our busy schedules do not seem to allow the time for it?
I encourage you to just take five minutes of your day, no matter when that may be, and talk to God in prayer.
It can be when you first wake up in the morning and you’re getting ready for class or before you start your homework in the evening. What matters is that you take the time, and take the time daily, to pray to God. Being consistent is key.
On campus, there are various opportunities to carve out time to be spiritually and physically in God’s presence. For example, students can attend Community Mass, Sunday Mass or spend a few minutes in the Gold Chapel in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Personally, I do all three. I can confidently say that my relationship with God has grown and continues to grow as a result of saying “yes” to these different opportunities to be with him.
Time with God is never time wasted or misused. God desires your heart through prayer and time spent with him in the Holy Mass.
Will you take the hour, or simply just five minutes a day, to be with God?

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