When we think someone praying, the image that often comes to mind is of someone quietly communing with God. Funny, Jesus does not use such an image. Rather he says we should be like a belligerent annoying neighbour, or a feisty persistent widow. If he lived today, he could possibly tell us to be like a toddler in the supermarket who wants the chocolate biscuits he saw in aisle 3. Nothing is going to put that child off: he is persistence personified. In his behaviour, we see the other attitude we should bring to prayer. That annoying child looks to his mother as the one to give him what he wants/needs. Even if he doesn’t get those biscuits, even if he is thwarted, the child still trusts his parent.
Next time you have one of your children coming to you and annoying you for something, ask yourself: “What would it be like if I prayed like that? What would I be prepared to pray for in that way?” You would find that such prayer, in an adult, would come from the depths of your being. No sweet polite manners, no gentle words beating about the bush, rather you would move right in close, trusting God’s love enough to really pour out your needs and your wants. You would open your heart to God.
Loving God, send us your Spirit that we might pray like Jesus. May we be as trustful and as persistent as children. May we truly open our lives and our hearts to you and to your love. We ask this is Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb