Persistence in Prayer


Have you ever given into someone’s request because that person wouldn’t stop asking? Think about it for a few seconds.

Maybe your son asked you for an extra piece of Halloween candy—14 times to be exact—before you finally decided to let him have that one last piece before going to bed. Or perhaps someone from your parish office emailed, called, and then waved you down at Sunday morning’s Mass before you reluctantly agreed to volunteer for an upcoming youth retreat.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells the story of the judge who granted the widow’s request simply because of her persistence:

For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.'”

God, on the other hand, responds to requests entirely differently than the judge as He does so out of love. He does not choose to answer our prayers with an immediate yes or no because He is annoyed with us but rather because He loves us and desires what’s best for us.

How do you respond to those who ask you for something? Do you choose to give your son that extra piece of candy because you are annoyed or because you want to fulfill his desire? Do you say yes to the parish office person because you no longer want to be bothered or because you want to serve God?

If you feel like you respond to these requests with the  “Because I am annoyed” answer, I dare you to pray for the strength and courage to encounter these moments as opportunities to love as God loves.

Joan Nagel is a Registered Dietitian, and in her spare time she can be found reading, writing, and drinking coffee. You can find out more about her here.

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