In the Gospel reading for today, we return to prayer. Luke presents for us two important teachings on how to pray.
In the parable at the beginning, we are presented with a man who goes to a friend’s house late at night to borrow some loaves of bread to share with another friend who has recently arrived at his house. However, the first friend is in bed already and does not want to get up. Christ’s answer to this dilemma is to keep asking until the asker gets what he wants: “I tell you,” Our Lord says, “if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.”
I heard someone comment once that after praying for something once, you should never pray for it again because doing so shows a lack of faith. I don’t know where they got such a goofy idea. Certainly, it wasn’t from the Bible, because here Christ is teaching us exactly the opposite: ask and ask again. Be persistent.
Later, Christ points out that we human beings, though fallen, are still wise enough to give good things to those we love. Shouldn’t we then understand that God, who is perfect and divine, can far better than we give good things to those He loves? And He loves every one of us.
Christ teaches that God gives us the greatest gift of all: the Holy Spirit. It is through cooperation with the Holy Spirit that we cooperate with grace and grow in faith and prayer. We are given the Holy Spirit to guide us to heaven; let us pray always for the wisdom and grace to respond to the Holy Spirit in the way that God intends for each of us as we, every day, discern the call God is making to us.