“Catholic Atheist” Week 2: Persevering in Prayer
We’ve been talking about the disconnect or gap between our faith and our life, and last week we spoke about truly believing, at the level of our inner being, our heart, our core identity, that the God we profess to believe truly loves us. Today’s topic is the disconnect between how much we want to pray or feel called to pray, and how much we actually pray. Bringing up this topic, you and I might feel guilty because we do fall short, and it is very easy to fall out of a healthy habit of daily prayer. In Luke 11:5-13, Jesus teaches about prayer, and he describes the image of a man who persistently asks his friend or neighbor for food, knocking on his door in the middle of the night. Jesus says, I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence (Luke 11:8). The image is akin to a child who keeps begging or nagging her parents for ice cream. Jesus goes on: And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened (11:9-10). Keep on asking, persevering; never give up in prayer. Perseverance is often a theme in Jesus’ parables. We are going to fail and get off track, but if we persevere, we will see powerful results. Questions for Small Groups:
Why is prayer vital to a healthy relationship with God?
On a scale of 1-10, how’s your prayer life? What is one thing you could do to move it up a point? When and where will you pray today?
Do you feel guilty about not praying enough? If so what effect does guilt have on your desire to pray? What are the obstacles for you when it comes to praying on a daily basis?
Read aloud Luke 11:9-10. What do you think Jesus is communicating?
In what way do you need to most keep persisting in prayer: just showing up, discovering how you best connect with God, or praying for a specific request for God?
What needs have been arising for you lately that can remind you to pray this week?