On October 20th, we celebrated Sunday 29 in Ordinary Time – Year C The voice of God in Readings challenged us to persist in our prayers without becoming weary.
Of course, there are always benefits if we persist and keep on praying without quitting.
Moses in prayer between Aaron and Hur (De Wit, drawing)
According to the First Reading (Ex 17: 8-13): ‘As long as Moses kept his hands raised in prayer’, the Israelites prevailed over the Amalekites at battle. And according to the Gospel (Lk 18:1-8), the persistent widow was granted a just decision.
"And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him saying "Avenge me of mine adversary." Anonymous artists by Pacific Press Publishing Company, 1900
Fair to say, in everyone’s faith journey there are seasons of spiritual dryness, when prayer gives us no consolation. However, to continue praying is to continue growing deeper in our faith. Praying when we feel like it, and when we don’t is most important for our spiritual growth. This is one of the reasons we come to Mass regularly, so we keep growing closer to God.
Praying without becoming weary also teaches us to be patient. There will be times when our prayers won’t be answered as quickly as needed, maybe, because many hearts have to be changed before our requests are met. For instance, we need to keep on praying that hearts may be converted, that finally there is an end to abortion, prejudice, violence, ugly divisions, and all the injustices in today’s society.
The Blessed Mother Theresa reminded the world that part of the reason people give up praying too soon is because we are too spoiled. We expect instant results or quick fixes. If our refrigerator is broken, we get a new one. If we need to watch a certain program on a Television, we just press a button. If we are hungry, we just warm up a fast meal in the microwave. If we want to listen to music, we ‘shout it out to - cool Alexa’. As if we expect God to jump when we say ‘jump’!
Maybe, before we blame God for not answering our prayers quickly enough, we have to blame ourselves for lack of patience.
Let us pray for patience that we may always persist and keep on praying without ever giving up hope. “For, hope in God does not disappoint”, (Rom 5:5), AMEN.
Peace be with you! Fr. Frank