When I was in Ontario parishes, every other day I used to get some calls. The conversation from the other side would be like or similar to, “I am laid off from work from yesterday on. I don’t have any money for groceries. Could you give a food voucher or some groceries?” Some even give the door number to deliver the groceries, without even caring to know to whom he/she is talking. Most of such callers especially the first timers do it not necessarily with much expectation. Normally we used to positively respond trying not to be judgmental.

Today Jesus is giving a parable regarding prayer and how an unjust judge finally listens to the prayer of the widow.  Jesus continues his discourse by asking the listeners ‘if this unjust judge did answer to the widow’s prayer, how long your Father who is heaven, who is the embodiment of justice, compassion and love, will not listen to your prayer?

Our prayer needs some strong ingredient in it, which were lacking in the prayer for groceries, that is, faith, faith in the one you pray to. The concern of Jesus by the end of his parable was that he may not find faith on earth when he comes to gather his people. Faith, of course, is a gift, a free gift from God.  It results from a relationship, God’s relationship to us as our Father and us as his children.  Prayer with faith and trust will work as an experience of God’s presence in our lives if the one praying too has that relationship consciously reciprocated.

Just like faith, God’s gifts are also free and given without asking. Asking with a relational response and a firm trust that the Father is listening, and that he will respond are the basic ingredients to realize and experience God’s relational response. We need discernment, patience and tuning of our minds in order to experience it. This kind of relational experience prompted the psalmist to feel and say, “I lift up my eyes to the hills, … My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”.

One sure element of this faith is humility and acknowledgment of God’s dominion. Holding the hands lifted towards  God by Moses is a sure sign of such humility and trust. This loving relationship and the trust following from it prompt us to pray continuously, repeatedly and without losing heart. Trust, hope, humility, faith and a loving relation work together in prayer transforming us into the understanding the mind of God and to experiencing his love.
Fr. George