A Parable for Today
“One day on the journey of life… - I was sitting in a diner having lunch. A few tables away were two women, one with an infant in a carrier and the other with a small boy about 2 years old. The women were chatting away seemingly oblivious of the world around them. The young boy, bored with the conversation and finished playing with the French fries on his plate, was looking out of the window and spied something that held his attention. He was excited by what he saw and wanted to share it with his Mom.
And so it began… we’ve all heard it at one time or another - that ever persistent and increasing in volume - “Mom!” “Mom!” “Mommy look!” “Mom!” “Momeeeeeeeee, look!” “Mom!” “Mommy!” “Mooooommmmmeeeee”
This went on for what seemed hours, but was probably only a few (ten or twenty) minutes. Finally, and much to the relief of all the other diners and staff, Mommy turn her attention to the boy.”
Both Abraham and Jesus teach us of the need for persistence in prayer. Both teach us that God, the Father, to whom we pray, is not some distant deity – uncaring and unconcerned with the lives of his people, but a real living God who is loving and compassionate.
- He is a God who is involved in the lives and anxieties of his people.
- He is a God who listens to our wants and needs; giving us the good things we ask for.
- He is a God who has come to live among us, who knows our joys and sorrows, understands our frailties and weaknesses, has witnessed the turmoil and struggles in our lives and wraps us in His embrace with mercy and love.
Both Abraham and Jesus speak with God, the Father on familiar terms in a close open relationship. Their prayers are a part of their continual relationship – a constant communication with God, - as members of one family. This is the experience of persistence in prayer – speaking to and - listening to God, - not just when we want something, but all the time.
We are God’s beloved children, blood brothers and sisters - in the blood of Jesus Christ – one family - Father to daughter - son to Father – with a God, who loves us completely. He is truly our Father - concerned about our lives, - and sharing in our worries and joys. He is “The Father” - completely involved with us in a loving constant relationship. He knows our lives and all our needs. He desires us to turn to him in prayer, to speak with and listen to Him as our loving Father.
Both Abraham and Jesus teach us that our prayer is not just for ourselves, but is for the good of all people. Abraham petitions God on behalf of the righteous that live among the sinful – the wheat among the weeds. He asks God to spare all the people for the sake of these faithful few. Without realizing it, these faithful few bear the burden of petitioning for all people. God looks upon their faith and constancy with mercy and love for all. Through their cries - God hears the cries of all His people.
Jesus, when he teaches the disciples how to pray, does not start with “My Father,” but with “Our Father” and continues with, “Give us our daily bread, - forgive us - our sins, - as we forgive and do not subject us - to the final test.” Jesus teaches that we are one people, one family – living for the common good of one another. We, together - are the people of God. We together are the Body of Christ, the Church. We are a communal people: we worship and pray in together as one - in community - to God, who is “Our Father.”
In explicitly praying for our personal needs - we implicitly pray for the needs of all people and receive God’s grace. Our prayer, - our communication with God - opens us up to His love; giving us His grace, - so we may know and do His will - in bringing about His kingdom - by loving all our brothers and sisters - as we are loved.
So, pray as Jesus taught us, - his disciples – for our prayers open our hearts to God, give us grace and bring us into an ever closer – always loving relationship with God, who is our Father – forever and ever.
Deacon Don Ron