Man of Prayer - What Can We Learn From St. Patrick?
Updated: Mar 16, 2018
I don't claim to be an expert on the life of St. Patrick, but I have always been intrigued by him, especially his prayer life. So, I thought I would find out more facts about this man of faith. Here are a few things that I enjoyed learning:
St. Patrick was born to wealthy parents in Britain and was not Irish, as many think. Kidnapped in his teens, he was brought to Ireland. While in captivity Patrick worked as a shepherd (herdsmen). He stated in his writings that during those years God's presence because very real and intimate to him. He also said that he prayed a lot throughout the day while he was tending the sheep. He is known to this day as a man of intense prayer. (Love that!)
"and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer..." *
Patrick's prayer life is a wonderful example for us. When we think of Patrick in the fields, we see how it was possible for him to draw close to God and to hear His voice. Being in God's creation has a way of quieting our hearts and minds. Of course, Patrick is not the only one who discovered the benefits of stillness. The Bible is full of examples of finding God in the quiet. Jesus Himself would pray to His Father in solitude and silence (Luke 6:12-13, Mark 3:13). One of my favorite verses about this is found in the Psalms when David said,
"But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me." Psalm 131:2
As God's daughters, let's do our best to spend time alone with Him throughout our day talking to Him, listening for His voice, and of course, obeying what He says. I know it's challenging but let's plan to walk outdoors more this spring or sit in our backyard (with a cup of tea, of course).
After 6 years in Ireland, Patrick escaped and traveled back to his family in Scotland. Later, he returned to Ireland as a missionary. The three-leaf shamrock was what Patrick used to explain the trinity to his listeners. What a great illustration! He preached in Ireland over the course of 40 years. Ireland was converted to Christianity around 432.
March 17th marks the day of St. Patrick's death. The year was 461 AD. I couldn't find "how" this godly man died anywhere on the internet. Does anyone know?
Some other interesting tidbits are that all pubs were closed on St. Patricks's Day in Ireland because it was a religious holiday until 1970 when they reclassified it as a national holiday. It was first celebrated in the United States in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737.
Have you learned other interesting facts about St. Patrick that you would like to share? Please leave a comment so others can see!
Happy St. Patrick's Day, Everyone!
Fun Fact: The odds of finding a 4-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000.