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Jesus tells us to be persistent in prayer

Based on Ex 17:8-13, 2 Tm 3:14-4:2, Lk 18:1-8

Never give up. Pray always. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to be persistent and faithful in prayer.

As an example, he tells his disciples the parable about a widow who wanted a fair decision from a judge for her legal problem. The judge was unwilling to address the problem. Daily, the widow really pestered him and insisted he make a decision. Finally, he gave in to her request.

Jesus said, “Now if the selfish judge finally listened and rendered a decision, how much more will my heavenly Father listen to your prayers and give you what you need?”

How can we pray “always?” When we use the “word prayers” and “prayer,” they seem to mean the same thing, but there can be a difference. With the “word prayers” we naturally think of memorized or formal prayers like the Our Father, the Hail Mary, or the Morning Offering. They can be said out loud or silently and are an important part of our spiritual life.

But prayer is more than just saying words out loud or silently. It is a way of noticing the world around us – people, events and things. When someone or something makes us think of God, that is a time of “prayer.”

Recalling God’s presence in our life at different times of the day, offering ourselves, our actions and the day’s happenings to God is a kind of prayer. This, plus our formal prayers, helps us to pray always.

In this parable, Jesus is telling us when we pray to God for something, he will hear our prayers and answer them. Sometimes we get anxious or feel disappointed when it seems he doesn’t give us what we want or need, but we shouldn’t give up or stop asking. We must trust that God will always do what is best for us.

Jesus is calling us to a closer relationship with God. Prayer is a necessary part of that relationship. Prayer is not just a “wish” list. Jesus is calling us to turn to God with our prayers of adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise. God is never too busy to listen to our prayer. Never give up. Pray always.