The scripture readings for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 16th, 2016) emphasize persistence in prayer. In Ex 17:8-13 Moses needed help in praying during Israel’s day long battle with the Amelek. In the gospel (Lk18:1-8), Jesus commends the widow who nagged a dishonest judge until she got a decision in her case saying:
“Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.”
We can ask about the motives of the widow. She was asking for a decision against an adversary. Was she desperate because she had left destitute? Persisting in hope because she knew the judge could restore her to a better state? Maybe she was just angry against her adversary and stubbornly kept after the judge.
In the end, her motives did not matter. She acted on the hope that the judge could settle her case. It did not matter to here whether or not the judge cared about her. She just wanted action.
Many - maybe all - of us reach a point in our prayer lives when we wonder if we will ever get results. Does God even know we are here? If so, does God care?
Jesus wonders: “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
We can learn from the widow. While we do have a God who cares for us, we don’t even have to believe that much. All we have to do, is come to believe that God can restore us. that is enough.