By Debby Giusti
“… always to pray and not lose heart. “~Luke 18:1
The prayer intentions I lift up to the Lord daily can seem endless. “Keep the grandchildren safe at school.” “Let me arrive at my doctor’s appointment on time.” “Lord, help me find a parking space.” Some requests may seem trivial; other needs are more significant. “Lord, comfort my grieving neighbor who lost her husband.” “Heal the newborn baby in the NICU.” “Care for the homeless lady I passed on the street.” God is faithful. He hears our prayers and always responds to our cries for help.
What about prayers that seemingly go unanswered? I’ve prayed for over twenty years for a particular need and wonder if God’s silence is His answer. Should I stop praying about something that lies so heavily on my heart?
In today’s Gospel, an unrighteous judge delivers a decision because of a widow’s persistent demands for a settlement in her case. The parable encourages us never to stop placing our needs before the Lord—even those that seem to have been ignored. Christ reminds us that if the corrupt judge was worn down by the woman, how much more will our loving and merciful God provide for those who “cry to him night and day.”
In the first reading, Amalek and his army attack Israel. When Moses holds up his arms, the Israelites gain the offensive. Eventually, he tires, drops his hands, and the enemy takes the lead. Aaron and Hur come to his aid. They support his faltering limps and hold his hands aloft until the battle is won. Like Moses, we may sometimes need prayer support to win our “battles.”
I’m part of a group of friends who pray for one another. We communicate our needs with text messages that are quickly answered with a praying hands emoji or a reply, such as, “I’m saying a Chaplet now for that intention,” or “I’m covering that in my Rosary.” The prayers are often for someone outside the group, like a local teen injured in an auto accident or a member of our parish who recently had a stroke. Or they may be personal requests, such as before I give a presentation or when I’m facing a tight deadline for my next book. Knowing my friends are praying brings comfort and peace.
Today’s Scripture encourages us never to grow tired of lifting up our needs to the Lord, whether we’re praying alone or with the support of others. The Lord assures us that prayers of supplication, repeated over and over again, will not go unanswered.
Lord, thank you for reminding me to pray without ceasing and never lose heart. Your will for me is perfect, whether my prayers seem to be answered or not.
Call to Action
Organize a group of prayer warriors who will support one another in time of need. Pray immediately when a request is received. Encourage others to form prayer teams as well, and remember never to stop praying.
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