Persistence in Prayer


I was thinking of the Gospel today. You remember, the judge who finally gave the widow what she wanted because she was persistent in her petitions to him. The lesson to be learned from this Gospel, of course, is that, no matter what, we must be persisten in prayer.

I thought about persistence in prayer, and St. Monica came to mind. St. Monica prayed for years and years for her son Augustine to leave his life of sin and embrace the teachings of the Catholic Church. Augustine lived with a woman, and together they had a son. Augustine, after his conversion, became a renowned Doctor of the Church. His mother’s prayers were answered with a resounding YES! God, not only brought about Augustine’s conversion, but Augustine became a great saint whose works are used in the Church today.

We have to remember that prayer is more than petition. Prayer is thanksgiving. Prayer is praise. Prayer is silence. Prayer is meditation. Prayer is contemplation. Prayer is intercession. Prayer is love.

Most of us pray for our requests or for other people. God never said that He would, when we prayed, immediately grant us our petitions. God wants much more from us. He wants to build a relationship with us He wants us to learn patience and thanksgiving. He wants to draw us closer to Him through prayer. Sometimes, in order to get us to pray, we have to suffer setbacks and disappointments like St. Monica suffered as she followed her son around the known world, one to be deserted by him in a foreign country. Oh, yes, Augustine was downright mean to his mother before his conversion. God might bring us to our knees so that we might grow closer to Him and open our hearts to Him. The only way to grow closer to God is to pray. Pray, pray and pray. St. Monica never gave up, even when it seemed that God was ignoring her or saying no to her. She persisted. In her prayer, Monica was changed. Because of her prayer, Augstine’s soul was changed.

Prayer changes things, and prayer changes us.

St. Monica, pray for us.