"Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.” - St. John Chrysostom
The theme for today’s readings remind me of a joke:
There was this middle-aged farm couple who had no children. After trying their luck in every medical opportunities, they decided to put their trust in PERSISTENT PRAYER as a last resort. And it worked! The wife became pregnant and at the end of her term, she gave birth to triplets. In her excitement she said to the husband, “Persistent prayer really works, doesn’t it?” Her husband replied, “Seems to, but I sure as heck didn’t pray for a bumper crop!”
In our first reading Moses remained persistent in prayer until the Israelites defeated their enemies (the Amelekites). This was achieved not without challenges. When Moses realized that Israel could no more rely on the inadequate resources available to defeat their opponents and also their morale was at the ebb, he resorted to interceding constantly for them. Finally the Israelites were victorious.
Beloved one, don’t be deceived that prayer is a waste of time or is illogically and unempirically oriented, as some people think. Yes, no one can scientifically ascertain how prayer works, but it is the key that has opened the mysteries and myths of life from ancient times 'til now. Whatever challenge, problem or situation you may be battling with, you might have used all available means to surmount it but to no avail. Like Moses, raise up your arms in prayer to join that of Jesus Christ on the cross. Just simply trust God. Your constancy in prayer is your faith in action. There is nothing impossible before God. Just pray!
The Apostle Paul in the second reading insists that our practice of faith is inseparable from our perseverance in prayer. We are inspired that in every situation in life the Word of God should be our bedrock. It is from thence which we must draw our strength and hope in our prayers. Don't grow weary in living the principles and values of your faith. Your perseverance in prayer is a proof of your faith in the Word of God. That is why the psalmist echos, "Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and the earth.”
So Jesus Christ in our gospel reading uses a parable to teach the lesson of persisting when asking for something. This is what the widow did to the judge until she had her request answered.
Sister and Brother in Christ, whenever you need something from the Lord and it's not forthcoming, don't lose hope. Persistence and perseverance with your faith always pays. As Christians, trust and tenacity in prayer always bring God’s blessings on us. The miracle is that your persistence in prayer will always give you a bumper crop!
Stay blessed... Put on more clothing... May your prayer make you smile... See you in church.
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.