By Mary Lou Rosien
A few weeks ago our priest gave a wonderful homily on prayer. He focused on the area of persistence; this is something I had been giving a lot of thought to later.
My children and I pray with a group of Christians of all different backgrounds and faith. They have taught us to pray in a way that we haven’t before. They refer to it as ‘covering’ your prayers. For example, when we used to pray as a family, one of us might pray for a special intention. Then the others didn’t repeat that particular intention because we had already mentioned it.
Our new prayer partners ‘cover’ our prayers by praying the intention again in their own words. They will often say something that we haven’t thought of, or have an insight that didn’t occur to us. Why am I bringing up the way other faiths pray in a Catholic column? It helped me to understand the teachings about persistent prayer.
Jesus tells us of the persistent widow in Luke 18:5. She needed a judge to help her resolve an issue and, in layman’s terms, bugged him until he gave in. We see further examples of this in Mark 8:28 when the woman justifies her persistence by saying that even the dogs are given scraps from the table. In Luke 11:8 the persistent neighbor keeps knocking until the door is answered and lets not forget Abraham in Genesis 19:22 begging the Lord that if 50 righteous are found, could the town will be spared, no 40, no... make that 30 and so on.
I see examples of persistence working in my own family. My oldest children ask if they can have brownies and maybe I say “No.” Then they send in the ‘littles,’ one at a time to repeat the request. By the time the youngest comes in, with his big eyes and sweet smile, I am ready to give in. Persistence works.
Why would the Lord want our persistence? Maybe it is to strengthen our own resolve about our needs from Him. When we have to ask over and over again, we may question if we are asking for the correct thing.
Repeating our requests also causes us to rely more fully on God. Realizing that we cannot accomplish these things without Him makes us vulnerable and strengthens our faith. erhaps the Lord would grant our need if we asked one more time and we just stop and give up a moment too soon. Persistence is a demonstration of faith. God’s time is not our time, we need to trust that He is listening and He has a plan for us. So, my friends, knock and the door will be opened.
God bless you!
Mary Lou Rosien is the author of Managing Stress with the Help of your Catholic Faith (OSV Publishing). Write to her at email@example.com.
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