(Luke 18:1-8) Persistence is one of those traits that, humanly speaking, can be both positive and negative. On the one hand, it can be a sign of great virtue. For example, we want our children to persevere at their studies, to stick to something until they have mastered it. On the other hand, persistence can also be incredibly irritating. Have you ever endured the repeated requests of a small child who wants you to give them some candy?
Unlike us, God is never irritated by persistence. In fact, He actually encourages it! “Pray always and never lose heart,” Jesus tells His disciples in today’s Gospel (Lk 18:1). God wants us to wear Him out with our continual requests. He wants us to repeatedly ask Him for what we need – again and again – always trusting in His great love. He never wants us to give up! But what if we ask for something that isn’t good for us? Will God still answer our prayer?
At times, we are a bit like that irritating child, begging God for things that He knows would be bad for us. Although we think we know best, our Heavenly Father is the only One who truly sees the big picture. He is the only One who knows what would bring about our greatest happiness. So if our prayers seem to go unanswered, we shouldn’t assume that God isn’t listening. Instead, we should trust in His wisdom and have faith that He will answer our prayers in a way that will bring about our ultimate good. It’s true that sometimes God answers in unexpected ways. His answer might be, “No.” Sometimes He might ask us to wait. At other times, He will shower us with an abundance of grace that goes far beyond anything we could have possibly imagined. What is important is that we pray always, trusting that our Heavenly Father will always give us what we need.
“Pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.“ – 1 Thess 5:17-18
– Sharon van der Sloot