persevering prayer

praying

Bother God!

praying

29th Sunday In Ordinary Time – Year C

Fr. Mark Gatto

Preached: October 20, 2019

Do you bother God?  Well, you should bother God.  Go ahead and bother God.  Jesus himself is encouraging us to bother God.  Pray with perseverance.  Keep going back to God in prayer.  It is faith to keep praying even when it seems we are getting no answer, when God seems silent.

We see an example of persevering prayer in our first reading.  In this story of the people of Israel in a great battle, we see Moses at the top of the hill with the staff of God.  As long as he is holding it up, they were winning.  But, when his arms got tired and he lowered the staff, then they were being defeated.  So, to keep his arms lifted with the staff they sat Moses on a stone and two others held up his arms.

His raised arms were a symbol of prayer, of trusting in God.  This is why the Church matters, we also need others to assist us, to hold up our arms when we are tired, losing faith.

What do you think is the number one request I receive as a priest?  The number one thing that people ask me, is to pray for them or to pray for a loved one.  As a Pastor, everyday I pray for people of our parish.  Some who have asked me, others who come to mind to me because I know they have some special need at this time.

I also know that one of the great strengths for me, is that there are many parishioners, many people who pray for me each day.  The prayer of others for me is like Moses having the two others hold up his arms.  There is a grace and strength that comes through the prayer of others for us.

This is called the Prayer of Intercession.  To pray for someone else, to intercede for them.  This prayer of intercession is so powerful and so helpful.  It is a reminder that we are not alone in this life, that we are united in this journey, walking together in faith.  Pray for others, become intercessors.  Some people create an actual list, with a list of people they plan to pray for each day.

As I said, as a Pastor, one of the duties I have in my vocation is to pray for the people of my parish.  For those who are parents, one of the duties of your vocation is to pray for your children.  Never underestimate the power of a parent’s prayer, even when you seem to have no answer.

Persevere in that prayer, bother God.  For those of you who are grandparents, your prayer for your grandchildren is so important, it might the only connection they have to the Lord.

You who are teachers, as a Catholic, teaching is a vocation and part of that should be the prayer of intercession for your students.  For those of you who are business leaders, employers, you too should pray for your employees.  All of us should pray regularly for our parish.

The prayer of intercession is very powerful, it is a sign of faith in God and a sign of our unity to others.  When we pray for someone else, it changes us, it changes how we see them.

Intercede for others, like Moses holding up the staff of God to assist the people of Israel. Be intercessors, make the prayer of intercession part of your life.  Yes, bother God, bother God with your prayers.

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