Jesus told his disciples a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, `Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, `Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Luke 18:1-8
Our second oldest, Ariel, loved playing lacrosse. When we arrived in Middletown, Delaware, there was no team she could play with. When she got to high school she helped a group petition for lacrosse as an official sport. They lobbied and attended meetings. Finally they were granted permission to play, but there would only be a boys' team. The boys she had been working with assured her she could play. We got a call one day from the team captain's mother who was embarrassed to tell us but that Ariel could play but have to be outfitted like the boys, including wearing a cup! Ariel took it all in stride and played her last two years of high school with the boys. For the love of the game, she would dis whatever it would take.
Jesus tells a story of a corrupt judge who gives in to an annoying widow because of her persistence. And he tells us that God is more ready to give than we are to ask. our persistence is important. If we have faith and are willing to be persistence, our prayers will be answered. God wants to hear us, desires to bless us, and aches to have us reach out in love.
Today, I ask God for the persistence of kids like Ariel. May we all cry out to the Lord, trusting that the author of all things, the author of love, will give us our hearts' desire. May we pray at all times, trusting that God is listening to the hearts of the people.
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.