Being Persistent in Prayer
Jesus continues on the road to Jerusalem, where he will live the last mysteries of his mission. He will be arrested by the chief authority of the Jews, will suffer his passion, death, and resurrection. After the episode with Martha and Mary, where Luke reminded us of the importance of listening to the Word of God, the evangelists share other teachings of Jesus.
The first of these teachings will deal with Prayer. It is organized in three consecutive presentations, and each one offers us a particular lesson about prayer. First Jesus teaches his friends how to pray, teaching them the Our Father. They will follow the parable of the friend who shows up at the inopportune moment with insistent pleads for help, teaching that prayer to the Holy Spirit is ceaseless. It is a prayer of the gift of the Spirit.
This passage in Luke, reminds us various religious movements had their own prayers, which they taught to others, indicated their ideals, their mission, and their relationship to God. Teaching his disciples the Lord’s prayer, Jesus introduces them directly to the subject of his relationship with the Father, and thus he shares with them about his mission, and bringing them the deepest sense of a community.
The Fatherhood of God, as a relationship with Israel, was known in the biblical tradition. God invoked in us the Our Father in the daily prayers of the Hebrew believer. Jesus, nevertheless, teaches that the relationship with God as the Father should be close, intimate, simple, sincere, and loving. This prayer invites those who pray to support the plan of the final salvation God desires.
The prayer of all Prayers for us Christians, should lead us to a full review of our relationship with God as Father. In many personal histories the father figure could mean very little, as we know many never know their fathers, or at times the suffering caused by their fathers was so intense it would have been better not to have him around. But, the Father of Jesus, Our God, knows how to be a loving figure and leads us to reach full maturity in our Life of faith: to forgive, to love, and to pray.
In today’s first reading we hear the relationship between God and Abraham. God never stops giving; it is Abraham who stops asking. Jesus teaches us to persevere and to be persistent in prayer as we dedicate our life to mission. Unlike Abraham, we need not put limits on God’s power over our lives. We can haggle and keep asking because God wants to keep giving. When our best efforts lead to failure, Jesus reminds us not to despair. Keep on asking…Keep on seeking…keep on knocking…in effect, Jesus is telling us, it is not about you; It’s about me.
God Bless You,