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Gospel Reflections Download newsletter   [Luke 18:1-8]

We often think of prayer as mere asking, and this parable encourages us to pester God as the wronged widow pestered the Unjust Judge. But that is only one aspect of Luke’s teaching on prayer. He also shows us what our attitude in prayer should be in the parable which immediately follows today’s passage from the gospel: the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector. The tax-collector wins approval because he just stands there, admitting his sins. Most instructive, however, is Luke’s teaching on Jesus at prayer: he reminds us that Jesus is always quietly at prayer to his Father. He needs to slip away to spend the night in prayer. Especially he prays at the most important moments of his life: at his Baptism, when he chooses his team of disciples, before he teaches them to pray, at the approach of his Passion, finally forgiving and comforting others at his death. Paul tells us we should pray continually. The prayer of asking must be built on a relationship of love and dependence, just as the request of child to parents is built on their loving relationship. It does not matter if the child is at times naughty; the deep relationship between parent and child is one of love. So too we do not need to be perfect to make our requests to our Father. When and how do you find it best to pray?

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