Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I- Ex 17:8-13, Ps 120:1-8, II- 2Tim 3:14-4:2, III- Luke 18:1-8.
“Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for, God knows best what is good for us”.
I lift up my eyes to the hills, to find deliverance; from the Lord deliverance comes to me, the Lord who made heaven and earth. Never will he who guards thee allow thy foot to stumble; never fall asleep at his post!
THIS IS A PRAYER of the suffering, a prayer that might well be directed at us by the enslaved peoples of our world who look, though they have looked vainly for years for deliverance.
We have looked, too, and vainly, for deliverance of our brethren from the godless tyranny that holds them in chains. We have “lifted up our eyes” to “the summit” where conferences were to bring peace to the world. We have found only treachery and greed and betrayal from those who understand “peace” in terms of subjugated, enslaved, beaten world, where dwell a race no longer human, where God is long ago forgotten.
We have learned from these failures, as we have learned for centuries that man without God will always fail. We have experienced many conferences of our own, with “important people” whose help we sought, whose promises we believed, conferences with employers, superiors, associates or friends. We have placed our confidence in these people, and later we were betrayed or forgotten. This was to teach us that there is no hope from man when God is not there.
Men of the age of “reason” and “enlightenment” who could so easily dispense with God, even when they believed in His existence, must have come at last to see how little reason and enlightenment there is in man, unless he fears God and keeps His commandments. To this summit we must always come, first and last; we have nothing to hope from any other. If God has departed, then justice, order, peace, reason, and humanity itself have departed. It’s the Lord who guards us, the Lord that stands at the right hand to give us shelter. The sun’s rays by day, the moon’s by night, shall have no power to hurt you. The Lord will guard us from all evil; the Lord will protect us in danger. The Lord will protect us journeying and our homecoming. Henceforth and forever (Psalm 120:5-8)
For a Sound and Healthy living
This parable of prayer is found in Luke alone. Luke begins by saying that Jesus told these parables stressing the necessity for his disciples to pray always without becoming weary. True prayer therefore is namely; the one that should never stop or be interrupted and keeping up a constant dialogue with the Lord.
To pray always does not simply mean to keep on repeating formulas and prayers, but it means never to take a decision without first speaking or consulting God. Three conditions, though, are required for such a prayer:
1. To experience one’s life- story as God’s word addressed to oneself.
2. To understand that God is really present in one’s life-story, past, present and future, as we read in Luke 15:31, as a free and undeserved gift of himself to us.
3. And finally to accept freely one’s life-story as the Word to us through Christ, as we read in Mt 28:20.
In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, “the Pharisee cannot understand that all good deeds put together cannot lay any claim to salvation. The text, therefore, invites believers to discover God as a loving Father and the tax collector as a brother. The Pharisee’s prayer is a perfect expression of a neurotic need for security that defends itself against other people (V.11b), human nature (V.12), and even God. (The African Bible, note on Luke 18:10-14)
“God who is everywhere never leaves us. Yes he seems sometimes to be present, sometimes absent. If we do not know him well, we do not realize that he may be more present to us when he is absent than when he is present. There are two absences of God. One is absence that condemns us, the other an absence that sanctifies, God empties the soul of every image that might stand between ourselves and him in mortal sin” (Thomas Merton)
“The worst thing that can happen in our modern society is for man to choose himself as his own idol-his body, his emotions, and his ideas. Then he has only himself to talk to. He is isolated. And that is what hell is” (Catalysts)
“If you pray for another, you will be helped yourself ” (Yiddish proverb)
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