Be Persistent in Prayer

It is necessary for us “to pray always without become weary.Today Jesus tells a parable of a woman who persists in her request.

She is awaiting a decision from a judge. The judge, “who neither feared God nor respected any human being“, was in no hurry to make his decision. She did not give up. She kept coming to him for his decision.

The woman’s persistence pays off. Because she kept “bothering” the judge, he decides to “deliver a just decision for her.” Does this mean all we have to do is keep nagging God to get him to do what we want?

We do not know what the case was about nor do we know what decision would have been to the liking of the woman. She does not tell him what he should decide. She asks him to “render a just decision.” There’s a lesson for us. When we pray do we tell God what to do? Or do we share our problems and our needs with God and then trust him to do what is just?

What is our objective when we are persistent in prayer? Are we trying to get God to change his mind? Or, trusting in God to “secure the rights of his chosen ones“, do we allow God to change our minds? If we pray with an open heart, we allow God to direct us to what is good for us.

We need to “be persistent, whether it is convenient or inconvenient” in prayer. The Bible, inspired by God, has numerous stories of how God has come to the aid of the Israelites when they are persistent in prayer. The Bible “is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The Bible shows us how to be disciples.

Our first reading tells us of a battle where “Amalek came and waged war against Israel.” Led by Joshua, the Israelite soldiers “engaged Amalek in battle.” The Israelites did not seek war but they responded to defend themselves. Yet, it was not simply a battle of two armies.

As the Israelites engage Amalek, Moses is standing on the hill “with the staff of God” in his hands. It does not say he is holding his staff. It is explicit in saying it was “the staff of God.” It is the same staff that Moses held when God placed ten plaques in Egypt. It is the staff used to part the Red Sea.

As the Israelites engage Amalek in battle, it is not there battle alone to fit. God is with them as long as Moses persists in prayer. Moses “kept his hands raised up.” As long as Moses kept his hands up, “Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight.” Moses needed to persist but he grew tired. He needed help to persist. In his need, “Aaron and Hur supported his hands.

What battles do you face? Are you facing an illness? Job issues? Family issues? Are you able to persist in prayer or have you grown weary? We are called to mindful for those who have grown tired and pray for them. We pray God’s Will be done.


Fr. Jeff

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