Prayer, Persistence, Petition, Plenitude

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072819.cfmz

Prayer

Lk11 “Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished one of his disciples said to him,

“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” 

Frequently in the Gospel of Luke we see Jesus at prayer. Jesus was a person of prayer. He prayed first, and then acted, and prayed again.

Start noticing in scripture how often Jesus is at prayer, invokes a prayer publicly, or quotes from scripture. You may get an idea of how important prayer and scripture was to him and how we can model his frequency and styles- meditative, private, public, silent, spoken, scriptural. 

One could say he prayed because he was divine, but rather he prayed so much because he was human. 

Persistence

“I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loave because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he need because of his persistence”

Two great examples of the value (virtue) of persistence. The Gospel story of the neighbor who gets what he needs, bread, and the story of Abraham lobbying for the innocent people in Sodom and Gomorrah.

In each case, the persistence demonstrated is on behalf of someone else, not for themselves. Abraham and the neighbor in the Gospel were relentless on behalf of others and their appeal was granted.

Petition

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 

For everyone who asks, receives and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

One petitions God in prayer not to inform God of needs-God already knows before one open their mouth. One petitions God in prayer so he/she can inform themselves.

Plenitude 

“If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heave give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Even the best gift-giver in your life has shortcomings. Sometimes time, money, opportunity, imagination, knowledge preclude us from giving others what we think they want, need. What we think someone else wants or needs is a guess at best. But with some effort, we are generally within the ballpark on gift-giving.

God has no limitation and has full knowledge of wants and needs. God is the giver of all good gifts and his gift of himself is by far the best we receive.

Reflection:

What can you see in the way Jesus prays that you could try in your life, or try more consistently?

Are you persistent in your advocacy for the needs of others?

Do you ask, seek and knock so you can hear from God? Do you ask, seek, knock only for yourself or on behalf of others?

Are you generous in sharing gifts with those around you (gift of self, gift of time)?

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