“And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily.” (Luke 18:7-8)
For many of us Christians, prayer is like work. We think of prayer as some hectic activity like carrying bags of cement. Many of us grumble when reminded to pray, and a good number doze off while praying. We are like children living abroad who grumble when reminded to speak to their parents at home.
We do not enjoy praying because we do not appreciate prayer as intimacy with God. A utilitarian approach to prayer is the greatest obstacle to an active prayer life. Prayer is not a tool nor a wand we wave to bring forth our wishes; it nourishes our souls. We do not always get what we ask for in prayer, but prayer enriches us physically and spiritually.
Prayer is therapy. Prayer is medicine. Prayer is life. When we pray, we should not be so concerned about the outcome of prayer but the privilege of being with God. Get used to enjoying prayer now because it is the only thing we shall be doing in heaven.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus used the parable of the unjust judge to teach us the importance of persistence in prayer. Never give up on prayer. Never turn your back on God because you have not gotten what you asked for.
In a recent research, it was discovered that countries where people pray a lot, like Nigeria, also have the highest poverty rates. This is because of our utilitarian approach to prayer. Prayer does not replace work. Prayer will not put food on your table; instead, it will give you the confidence to leave your house to search for food. Most of the things we pray for don’t need prayer at all.
On the other hand, we pray a lot but go against God’s instructions, hoping that He would turn a blind eye to our misdeeds and grant us everything we ask for. This is very unfortunate.
Today’s first reading from the Book of Wisdom sings the glory of God in all creation. One good way to begin praying is to examine the beauty of nature, the wonder of creation, the rhythm of morning and evening, the trees, the rivers, the sun, the rain, the stars, and the atmosphere around you.
Think of these things and think of the one who created and sustains them all. You will naturally slide into prayer. If the only prayer you can say after meditating on creation is “Thank you, God, for the wonder of my being”, it is enough.
Saint of the Day: Blessed Kaoliny Kozkowny. She was born on 2 August 1898 in Wai-Ruda, Poland, the fourth of eleven children born to the farm family of Jan and Maria Borzechka Kozka. She was a Catechist even as a teenager. She refused the advances of a Russian soldier. He kidnapped her, dragged her into the forest and murdered her during an attempted rape. She is a martyr of purity.
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, teach me to worship you from my heart when I don't feel like praying. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 32 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Wisdom 18:14-16,19:6-9, Ps. 105:2-3,36-37,42-43, Luke 18:1-8).
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu