Persistence in prayer
October 12, 2017
27th Week in
1st Reading: Mal 3:13-20
Gospel: Luke 11:5-13
Jesus said to his disciples, “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to his house in the middle of the night and says: ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine who is traveling has just arrived and I have nothing to offer him.’ Maybe your friend will answer from inside: ‘Don’t bother me now; the door is locked and my children and I are in bed, so I can’t get up and give you anything.’ But I tell you, even though he will not get up and attend to you because you are a friend, yet he will get up because you are a bother to him, and he will give you all you need.
“And so I say to you, ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For the one who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened.
“If your child asks for a fish, will you give a snake instead? And if your child asks for an egg, will you give a scorpion? Even you evil people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more then will the Father in heaven give Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
If you know how it is to be roused from sleep at night you get an idea how powerful that persistent man is who can get you back on your feet at midnight to give him what he wants. Would you rise from bed to entertain one such persistent person? Perhaps you’d say, “No, not me!” But God does!
Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive…”Persistence is heaven’s “open sesame”. But not just any form of persistence. Such must be dependent and confident. Dependence makes a person persevere at prayer, aware that he has no other reliable source than God. Confidence makes him stand before God without fear of being rejected, knowing that God is a Father who is most interested in providing for his needs. The persistence of a dependent and confident person works so powerfully on God.
But how do we explain the common experience of coming out empty handed from prayer? Charge it as “P.A.R.T.” of God’s plan. Pastoral reasons: someone’s soul may benefit from the sacrifice you experience while awaiting God’s reply. Aptness: when it is not apt, God will never grant it because He is not an irresponsible Father who gives in to his children’s bottomless thirst for material things. Relational: perhaps God feels so lonely at Calvary and would want your company albeit “for an hour”. Timeliness: when what we pray for is apt but untimely, God will grant it at the proper time, not now. In all these, it behooves that we persevere praying. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM.
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