|Father Perry D. Leiker|
An old saying goes something like this: “There’s two sides to every argument.” The same can be said of prayer. There are two sides: the scriptures comment on both sides. The person who is praying is encouraged in God’s word to never give up, be persistent, and call out to God "day and night."
Jesus advises us to keep bothering God like the woman bothering the judge "until he delivers a decision that is just for her." With that advice he reveals what he thinks about the other side.
How does God respond? What is his part in the process of prayer? Does he really listen? Does he really care? Do we get what we want? Does he sometimes say "no"? Prayer is a very personal and intimate experience. The process of prayer is clear; the effects of prayer are a bit more mysterious. What happens is highly interpretive. Did God "answer me"? People give all kinds of replies to that question.
People give all kinds of replies to that question. Asking and seeking constantly in prayer does something profound to the one who prays. One cannot pray to God without being changed. Justice from God unfolds like a flower. Receiving "an answer" also unfolds.
What we ask for and what we seek often change as we pray and begin to see the bigger mystery unfolding before us. Therefore, be persistent, and never stop praying.
Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.