THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER
Today’s gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Jesus says, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he
find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8b). When Jesus returns,
what will be the state of his Church? Right now it is not
looking very good. Very many Christians, a great majority
of the total, are uncommitted, lapsed, nominal, secular, cultural.
Many have bought in to the ways of the world, to such abominations
as contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage. The powers
that be, including those who claim to be Christians or even
devout Catholics, are committed to forcing the culture of
death upon the whole world. If a person, company, church or
nation resists, they are subjected to legal sanction, and
can lose property, liberty (being jailed) and religious freedom.
The tsunami of evil rampages throughout the whole world.
has this happened to a world that is 1/3 Christian? Well,
since Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus,
if that personal relationship is not nurtured and strengthened,
then inevitably Christians fall away. There is just too much
pressure from the world, the flesh and the devil, for one
to resist if one does not have a strong vibrant relationship
with Jesus. How is this relationship established? It is through
persistent prayer. Prayer is our communication with God. Prayer
keeps us connected with the divine. Prayer allows God to guide
us, teach us and strengthen us. Prayer keeps us securely in
God’s loving embrace.
Jesus tells his disciples “about the necessity for them
to pray always without becoming weary.” (Lk 18:1). He
uses the parable of the persistent widow. They need to pray
persistently so that they will not fall victim to apostasy
(v.8b). Faith necessitates prayer, and a strong faith necessitates
intense and persistent prayer.
To have faith is to BE.LI.EV.E. To believe
is to pray.
need to BE a friend of Jesus. Friends communicate,
spend time together, get to know each other intimately. This
happens as we pray always.
need to LIve the way of Jesus. Only Jesus
can show us his way of life. Only he can grant us the grace
to live his way of life. We need to try to put on his mind,
and allow him to form us, guide us, nurture us, strengthen
us. This can only happen as we pray always.
need to EVangelize in the name of Jesus.
Jesus is the one who sends us forth to proclaim his salvation
to the world. We can only do this in the power of his Spirit.
There will be strong opposition from the enemy as we engage
in spiritual warfare. We will be bruised and battered. We
can only endure and persevere if we pray always.
want to Enter into Eternal
life. If we do the above, then Jesus will find the faith in
us when he comes at the end of time.
Now Jesus says, “Will not God then secure the rights
of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will
he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that
justice is done for them speedily.” (Lk 18:7-8a). God
is not slow to answer.
how many times have we prayed intently but God did not grant
our prayers? At times He seems not to be hearing us. Well,
God always hears and answers, but sometimes the answer is
“no” or “not now.” Oftentimes we ask
for things that might become harmful to us. God knows best
what we need, and when we need them.
God wants us to persist in prayer. If we easily got what we
wanted when we prayed the first time, we will end up taking
God for granted. We will not move on to enter more deeply
into a relationship with Him, which deeper relationship is
what God wants, which is what prayer truly is about. At times
God wants us to “grapple” with him, trying to
understand why He is not granting our prayer. In the process,
God is able to reveal to us more of who He is.
imparts justice speedily. Justice is giving to the other person
what is his due. God wants to form us back into His image
and likeness, and bring us to eternal life in heaven. This
is what is due to us according to God’s original intent
in creation. God is able to do this when we persist in prayer
and we pray always. If we become weary, we stop praying. When
we stop, then the communication channels no longer exist.
But when we persist, and we pray always, then God has all
the opportunity to teach us, to mold us, to empower us. In
prayer our faith is deepened. And when we pray until Jesus
returns once again, then he will bring us to heaven with him.
The very first commitment we make in our covenant in CFC-FFL
is to pray daily. This is the very foundation of our life
of faith in Jesus. With the call to the New Evangelization,
let us never neglect this commitment to daily prayer. We pray
daily, with persistence and perseverance, until the Lord returns
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