Scripture: Lectionary 496.  Nov.16. Wisdom 18:14-16.19:6-9.  Psalm 105:1-2,3-4,5-6. Luke 18:1-8:

Pray always! Pray night and day and do not lose heart! These are Jesus’ words of wisdom this day.  He wants us to be focused on the necessity of prayer and to make sure we understand him, he gives us a parable that brings home the point about the importance of praying constantly.  In the parable we learn that the woman who is pleading for help from a judge who is bad and does not want her to bother him does not succeed in pushing her away.  She persists, she comes back again and again, she pesters him continually till he finally is weary of her and decides to settle her case favorably. She succeeded because of her patient and continued persistence. You get the point immediately in this parable.  But you may ask, how can we pray constantly and realize the real necessity of our praying always?

I believe most of us who do pray start the day with the intention to praise God and to thank God for what we have in front of us this day.  This gives us the right start to our praying always and helps us to realize we are constantly living in God’s presence.  Just through our intentionality in this opening of the day we are well into praying constantly. Our duties become prayers, and our minds from time to time even recall the presence of God who is always there for us.  This is our way of praying and pausing from time to time to renew the intentionality we gave to prayer early in the morning or whenever we wake up in the day! We are carried through by just being aware that God is there in whatever we are doing.  This is praying.  We need not verbalize it, we just live in prayer while accomplishing our work and our ministries.

We may not be as persistent as the woman is with the wicked judge for we are dealing with the goodness, the love, and the compassion of God who is there waiting for our brief pause to think, thank, and renew our intentionality to pray.  Prayer continues on without our realizing we are praying while breathing in and out and doing what we need to do this day.  Even though we do not pray with words the intention carries our mindset on prayer throughout the moments and hours of the day.  Our hearts usually are in the right place and thus we are in a mode of prayer sometimes realizing it; sometimes not.  Most of us do pray throughout the day in this fashion and should not be stressed out about whether we are at prayer or not.  The presence of God pervades and we just have to realize it from time to time as the hours slip by.  We renew and recall without worrying about whether we are praying hard or not.  We trust in the Lord who summons us to prayer and we do not lose heart with our prayer no matter how we may feel about it. God is there. That is enough!

Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.