God expects us to persevere in prayer, to intercede for others in prayer, and to pray well. All three of these expectations are embedded in our readings this weekend; all three expectations reveal something of how we relate to God.
First, we see Abraham’s persistence in prayer for the good people in Sodom, in hopes of sparing them from God’s wrath for their sins. Abraham, who walks closely with God, dares to speak to God on their behalf, and God promises to relent in his punishment if a mere 10 good men can be found in Sodom. We ought to have a healthy fear of God; He is, after all, our God. Yet God has shown that His justice is also merciful. God relates to us as a loving father to his children. He wants us to persist in asking Him for what we truly need. God teaches us what to ask and He loves to hear us ask for it!
God also wants us to care for each other. We see this in God allowing Abraham to intercede for the people of Sodom, but also in how Jesus teaches us to pray for “us” in the Our Father. We pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus taught us to lift each other up in prayer. We are not alone in relating to God; rather, we are brothers and sisters united in Him.
In the Our Father, we also see the beauty of Jesus’ priorities in prayer. First and foremost, He teaches us to yearn for the glorification of God and the implementation of God’s Will. We learn from this that giving glory to God is more important than our other needs. It is more important that we ask for our daily bread than that we be spared from temptation, and even more important that we give glory to God, even if giving God glory would demand that we be deprived of lesser goods. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to pray as we pray. This is the core of a classic Christian motto: Lex orandi, lex credendi. The way we worship influences the way we believe, and vice versa. We learn to pray better by spending time in prayer, and the words of our prayers teach us as we recite them.
So let us persevere in prayer for the good things we need for ourselves and for others. Let us learn from Christ how to live in constant conversation with the Father, and make His Kingdom come in our lives and His Will be done in us.
Peace in Christ, Today’s Readings: Gn 18:20-32; Col 2:12-14