Pope Francis this week called on the faithful to continue to pray as people around the world still face moments of hardships.
During his weekly general audience on Dec. 9, the pontiff spoke about “the prayer of petition,” which he said “arises naturally in human hearts.”
He said the prayer of supplication is “very human,” adding that everyone experiences loneliness or sadness.
“At times it seems that everything collapses, that the life lived so far has been in vain,” said the pope.
“In these seemingly hopeless situations, there is only one way out — the cry, the prayer ‘Lord, help me!’ Prayer can open up a sliver of light in the densest darkness,” he said.
He said Jesus taught his followers to acknowledge “our total dependence on [God] and trusting entirely in his providential care, even at the darkest moments in our lives.”
The pope pointed out that in the Lord’s Prayer, “we implore God for the highest gifts” but with the same prayer “we also ask for simple items, ‘our daily bread.’”
Pope Francis said it indicates “health, home, work; and also the Eucharist,” which is “necessary for life in Christ.”
The pontiff said that in the Bible “we see countless prayers to God to intervene in the face of our helplessness before situations of sickness, injustice, betrayal and despair.”
“Even the simple cry, ‘Lord, help me!’ is itself a powerful prayer,” he said, adding that “God always hears the cry of those who call upon him.”
He called on Christians not to feel ashamed when the need to pray arises, especially in difficult situations.
“We must not suffocate the supplication that rises up in us spontaneously,” he said. “Prayer of petition goes in step with acceptance of our limit and our nature as creatures,” added the pope.