Our Gospel reading today from Luke 11 is rather wide ranging. First, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. Jesus then teaches them the Lord’s Prayer, or the Our Father. It’s probably one of the first prayers we learn as children.
Jesus then tells a story about a man who needs some food, so he goes to his neighbor in the middle of the night to ask for some bread. Naturally, the neighbor is none too pleased. But Jesus says, “I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.” Jesus then says, “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
In our instant gratification culture, this notion of persistence can truly get lost. If we don’t get what we want when we want it, we whine and throw a tantrum. Or we just give up. Ask any salesperson how well that works. God is not like some miracle vending machine. We don’t throw a dollar in, push a button and get what we want. Sometimes He doesn’t answer our prayers right away. But that doesn’t mean we should give up. When we persist in prayer and don’t think our prayers are being answered, perhaps it will help us to change the way we pray. Maybe something like “Thy will be done” will become more and more part of our prayer life.
Father, help us not to be quitters when it comes to prayer. May we be diligent and persistent in seeking out your will. Amen.