Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Have confidence in prayer. It is the unfailing power which God has given us.”

Prayer is a precious way of communicating with God, it gladdens the soul and gives repose to its affections.  You should not think of prayer as being a matter of words.  It is a desire for God, an indescribable devotion, not of human origin, but the gift of God's grace.  As Saint Paul says: we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. – St -John Chrysostom

Gospel Text: (LK 18:1-8)
Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

The Catechism tells us: "By prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him." (2629)

Inevitably, someone will raise the objection: "If God knows everything, why do we need to ask Him for anything?" The simple answer to this question is that when we make prayers of petition we are not informing God of something He does not already know. The Lord Himself has told us: "Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:8). Rather, as St. Thomas explains, we pray so that we "may be reminded of the necessity of having recourse to God's help in these matters" (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 83, a. 2).

Jesus connects persevering in prayer and living faith for good reason. Prayer is a direct consequence of such living faith, a sign that we truly believe that the Lord really hears our prayers and cares about us. Do we? We need to grow in our understanding of the ways of prayer, including this kind of persevering prayer of which the Lord speaks.

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