Persistent Prayer

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 11:5-13

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks

finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (v. 10)

“Friend!” cries the midnight bread-borrower,
hammering at the door. This guy is a pest.
He won’t take no for an answer. His horsefly annoyance
finally wears down the sleeper, who
gets up and gives him some bread, not out of friendship,
but to get rid of him!

Some parables are hard to understand. This one isn’t.
We know what Jesus is driving at.
Always pray. Don’t give up. Be like the midnight
door-banger: insatiable, pressing,
undaunted. If some grouchy sleepyhead will answer a
midnight knock just to get some peace
and quiet, how much more readily will God open the door
to his children and supply their
deeper needs.

Not many of us pray that way. Our prayers are more
like quarters in a slot machine; if we don’t hit the
jackpot after a few tries, we give up. But Jesus says
that if we mean to have our prayers answered, we must
pray with persistence.

Some of us have persisted in prayer for years, banging
relentlessly at heaven’s door, beseeching the Father to
give us the bread we so desperately need, but the door
remains unopened. Unanswered prayer is a dark mystery,
but in the center of the darkness there shines the
luminous confidence of Jesus in persistent prayer. Keep
on asking, he says, and you will receive. Keep on
seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the
door shall open. “Come!” said St. Catherine, “Let us
storm the heavens with our prayers!”


Father, renew my confidence in prayer. Amen.