Patience, Control, and Trust: Root Cause of Youth Disinterest In Prayer

Rev. Fr. Roy Bellen during the Youth Assembly On Prayer held at the Radio Veritas Asia Auditorium in Fairview, Q.C. last May 18, 2019. (Photo credit: Ayrel Kean Selorio, III)

A lead official of two Catholic Media outfits revealed the three main factors affecting the Youth and their prayer life are the lack of patience, control, and trust.

“The Youth today no longer want to wait. Why? Because everything has become instant,” said Radio Veritas and TV Maria Vice President for Operations Rev. Fr. Roy Bellen during the Youth Assembly on Prayer held in Radio Veritas Asia’s Auditorium in Fairview, Quezon City last May 18, 2019.

In his talk on prayer and the Youth, the former Youth Director of the Archdiocese of Manila presented why the youth are no longer interested to pray. He strongly believes that this is primarily due to impatience. He claimed that the Youth are no longer used to silence and being silent for they tend to divert their attention to electronic devices and the Media.

“They always want to be in control” he added, being the outcome of the empowerment Social Media gives them.

Fr. Bellen cited the recent study of the Pew Research Center that show the percentage of the Youth who pray is critically low and that teenagers, regardless of religion, pay less attention to praying. This finding further revealed that the attention span of the Youth now is only approximately eight seconds. The study also stated that the decline of interest in praying is also due to the influence of Media and the advancement of technology. In gist, the research concluded praying as an outdated practice in the digital age.

“Relax and pray. Have focus,” advised Fr. Bellen to the more than 200 Youth from the Diocese of Novaliches’s Commission On Youth and Transparochial Organizations. H

He explained that the struggle in praying has something to do with the level of spirituality of an individual. He said learning the art of focus through prayer is the means to cope with the struggle.

The Youth Assembly On Prayer is a joint undertaking of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) Fairview Community and the Diocese of Novaliches Commission on Youth in celebration of the Year of the Youth. (~Brian Timbal)