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29th Sunday of O.T. – C

October 18th, 2015

 

 

Are We Pestering God?

 

Gospel

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, "There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.'
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.'"
The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge 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.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

 




There's a story about a man named Harry, a successful businessman, had gotten where he was in life, status wise, by being very careful with his money. After years of prosperity, as this country became plunged into the recession we are now in, Harry's business was badly hit and he was in danger of bankruptcy. He went into a church and prayed to God. "Lord," he prayed, "this is Harry. You know me. I come to this church every Sunday. I try to lead a good life. But now I've fallen on hard times. My wife and family are suffering. Lord, please get me out of this. Please let me win the lottery." Saturday came, and still nothing. A third time Harry went to church. "Lord, I'm desperate. Please, please let me win the lottery." At that moment a voice came from heaven, "Harry, can't you meet me half way? Can't you at least buy a lottery ticket!"

Perhaps we're inclined to be a bit sniff about the kind of prayer Harry prayed. Perhaps we think it's unworthy, or at least in bad taste, to pray so blatantly for something for yourself. Perhaps we think we should be praying for worthy things, or better still, we shouldn't be asking for things at all, especially to win a lottery. When I was a youngster, I was taught that you didn't pray for things, that our prayers should be mostly a prayer of praise and thanksgiving, certainly not for things. But that's not how Jesus talks about prayer. Whenever Jesus talks about prayer in the gospels, it is nearly always to urge his followers to ask for things from their heavenly Father. The parable in today's gospel is a good example. Jesus urges his friends to be persistent in asking God for what they need and what they want. Harry had something in common with the widow in today's gospel. Firstly, he was persistent and secondly, he asked for what he really wanted. True, he failed to play his part in the transaction, but two out of three isn't bad, now is it?!

The widow in the parable is being held up as a model for the disciples in prayer. The message is: keep on praying. Be persistent. But the unjust judge does not stand for God. Jesus is not saying that God is reluctant to answer prayer. He is contrasting God with the unjust judge. God's desire to help is being contrasted with the unjust judge's reluctance to help. When we persist in our prayer, we are expressing our faith in God's willingness and desire to help us; we are affirming our belief in God's goodness; we are acknowledging our dependence on God for everything we have and everything that we are.

Jesus is very realistic about prayer. He understands that we often reach out in prayer to God when we are desperate. When someone we love is seriously ill, we bombard heaven with our prayers, and we ask others to pray for them; the more prayers the better. At that moment we have no doubt about what we want, and we have no difficulty in asking God for it. That kind of prayer in which we pester God, and go on pestering Him, is just the kind of prayer that Jesus urges his followers to pray.

It is not an inferior kind of prayer. It's not a selfish prayer. It is the foundation of all prayer. And let's be clear what we're praying for: we're praying for the person we love to get better. We are appealing to God precisely for that. We shouldn't try to make our prayer 'respectable' by praying "that the doctors and nurses will be inspired to do their job properly or even better." Of course, we can pray for that as well, but we are first and foremost praying that our loved one will be restored to health. Questions about how God answers prayer have no place in times like this. There are theological questions about prayer and how God answers prayer. But they have nothing to do with the business of actually praying. When we kneel down (if we are so fortunate to do that, which Arthur won't let me do), to say our prayers, we do so in a simple and straightforward way, taking Jesus at his word: "Ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Like the widow in the parable, like Harry the businessman, we know what we want and we simply go on asking God for it! Oh, by the way when I mentioned Arthur, I was talking about arthritis!

It is my prayer that this message was meaningful to you. God bless each of you and have a great week ahead. Yours in Christ.


Deacon Steve
© October 17, 2015


 

Video Down Below

 

 

 

 

~A True Physician~



Friends, come walk with Jesus; His love will fill your heart
disease afflicting you? He’ll cast it all away-
-Pain and suffering, your past, He will mend and wash
A True Physician; He will heal and Light your day

Jesus, He is your Guiding Light
with Him, you’ll never walk alone,
He is your King, your Savior
Your true Redeemer, the Beacon of your soul

Trust in Him, He is the Author of-
-Love, Faith and Happiness, your every today,
Each morning you arise, His promises are kept alive
Come walk with Jesus, He is your guiding Light of way

Come walk, hold up your hands of heart
your body temple, He will cleanse, and restore,
Come walk with Jesus, your Majesty of Love
your Living Waters, you’ll never thirst again

Friends, come walk with Jesus, His Love is bountiful
you’ll never hunger, His Gift of Love is free,
Come walk on that narrow path, Live life eternally
His Power from the heavens, will surely set you free



Copyright © by RaquelLeahDuPont
on Friday, October 15, 2010



 

 

 

 

Come Back To Me from Steve Politte on Vimeo.

 
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