Prayer must become an important part of every Christian’s daily life, said Bishop Robert Carlson of Sioux Falls at the concluding mass of the Yahweh-Shalom Conference at Mount Marty College.
The absence of it often leads to despair, the bishop said during the Sunday mass. "When I don't feel the Father loves me, that's when I need worldly crutches," he said, which will leave a person feeling empty.
"It's not important how people pray," he said. "But when we have these conversations with God, we like to do the talking. We have to let Him talk. The Lord has to be invited in on the conversation. We are here to listen once in awhile.
"When we are hurting, we need to pray. Jesus was in deep conversation with the Father, and we must be in conversation with the Father," said Bishop Carlson. "When we do not know the Father's love, we can't enter into a deep experience.
"A college student said he was heavily into alcohol and sex, and now he didn't pray as much. I told him I wasn't surprised, because you have taken yourself outside the Father's protection," he said. "You have to start the healing process with confession of your sins. You have to ask the Lord to ‘fill me with Your Holy Spirit’."
The bishop encouraged the adults in the assembly to pray in front of their children and grandchildren, just as Jesus prayed in front of his disciples.
He also recounted how his mother’s faith has helped her survive four cancers and how prayer has played an important role in helping him deal with his own cancer.