Fr. Baskar Anandan HGN
The Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 16, 2016 Readings
Prayer is one of the most wonderful things that we are provided with. It quenches our soul’s thirst for the divinity. It strengthens our spirit. It enhances and enriches our spiritual life with nourishment. It is not just dumping our needs but it is a loving conversation with God. In prayer we not only talk to God, but we also have to listen to him.
Battle won through prayer
Moses ordered Joshua, his commander, to gather his warriors and engage Amalek in battle. He also promised that he would support them with his prayer, holding the staff in his hands (Ex 17:9). Here he did not say the word “prayer” explicitly, but it is implied in his saying. The staff of God in his hand indicates the mighty presence of God Yahweh. As long as Moses kept his hands up, God’s mighty presence was with the Israelites and they had the better of the fight (Ex 17: 11). Whenever we pray we converse with God. That means we are in the presence of God, both speaking and listening to him. So we are sure to win the battle through prayer.
Our life needs persistent prayer
The spiritual battle that we fight on this earth is a lifelong process. To win it requires continuous prayer. The widow in the gospel remains the example to us. She had many good reasons to be discouraged and to not go to the dishonest judge for justice. The judge neither feared God nor had any respect for humans. And at that time, women were considered mere objects and the situation with widows was still worse. In spite of all these obstacles, the widow was persistent in asking for justice (Lk 18:1-6). This is expected to be our attitude regarding prayer. We are supposed to pray constantly to win the battle continuously. When Moses let his hands rest, the enemy had the better of the fight (Ex 17: 11). So let us pray persistently to win the battle constantly. Let us pray like Abraham as he interceded for the people of Sodom (Gn 18: 16-33) and like St. Monica as she prayed for her son Augustine, who turned out to be a saint and a great person in the history of the church.
Lord, help me realize that your mighty presence is with me whenever I pray and that my persistent prayer will surely win all the battles for me. Amen
“Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.” – George Herbert