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Saturday, October 15, 2016

CAMP AT HIS DOOR: Persist in Prayer

Sermon by Fr. Joseph Mungai
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Oct.16, 2016
St. John the Apostle Awasi Catholic Church, Kisumu Archdiocese, Kenya

Camp at God's Door
 As Moses led God's people from slavery in Egypt through the desert to the Promised land they encountered numerous threats to their lives: the army of Pharaoh, the Red Sea to be crossed, the lack of water in the desert. 

One such threat was opposition from those peoples whose lands they were going through. Today's reading (Exodus 17:8-13) is an attack by the Amalekites. But as we see in our reading, after kneeling and becoming weak we rise full of power. Prayer has enormous power, it can influence the outcome of events and it can change the lives of people. 

So just like Moses went up the hill and extended his arms in prayer until the victory was won, it is an encouragement to us to be persistent in our prayer. To good Christians,

prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the night. As no one can run marathon without training, so no one can live a proper Christian life without prayer. But to experience the power of prayer we must camp at His door.

When we persevere at God's door praying, He will come. But our problem nowadays, is that we have become an "instant" society -- instant coffee, instant tea, instant food, instant cures with the result that we expect God to take our calls instantly. Too many people pray like a little boy who knocked at the priest's house and ran away after the priest opened the door. 

The dishonest judge in today's Gospel (Luke 18:1-8) neither feared God nor any human being. He had ignored the plea for justice of
The unjust Judge and the Widow
the old widow many times but she never gave up. She kept making new trips to the judge's office until the wicked judge relented and gave her justice.

Many of us tend to give up easily after only a few attempts. God's time is not our time. God's plan is not our plan. God may delay our answer in order to purify our motives, so that we will learn to ask Him for what we need and not what we want. 

He may delay in order to intensify our desire. With an intensified desire, we may have the courage to scale the heights of excellence instead of remaining mediocre after having our desire granted easily. 

If God had granted all the silly prayers and desires I had made in life, where would I be now? True prayer is not about manipulating God into granting us our requests, but surrendering to His ways. We need to experience His Presence even without His presents. Hence we often need to pray for God Himself to come and fill our emptiness with His own fullness.

Fr. Joe Mungai
Brethren, whatever we pray let us believe that God will eventually answer us. When faith sets prayer to work, prayer sets God to work. Fix a time for prayer in your daily routine. The demands of modern life are such that unless we schedule a regular time to pray we probably wont pray at all. Ralph Martin in his book "Hungry for God" says, " A real estate man I know gets up early in the morning to pray; an aerospace engineer prays and reads Scripture on his lunch break; a production manager of a computing firm prays after his children are in bed at night."

We should keep in mind that when something becomes important to us, we schedule it right into our daily life. We don't leave it to chance. For example if we want to deepen a friendship with someone, we schedule times and places to meet with that person. The same is true of God, if we want to deepen our friendship with God, we need to plan for times and places to meet Him in prayer. 

We not only need to persevere not only during the period of prayer as Moses did, but
also from day to day and week to week as the widow in Jesus' parable did. Yes prayer is the oil that keeps the lamp of faith burning brightly. I know of no better thermometer to the temperature of faith than the measure of the intensity of prayer. 

Lets us conclude our reflection with this thought:
I pray because I am a Christian and to do what a Christian must do, I need help. I pray because there is confusion in my life and to do what is right, I need light. I pray because I must make decisions; but the choices are not always clear, so I need guidance. I pray because I have doubts and to keep growing in my faith, I need help. I pray because most of what I have is given to me, so I ought to give thanks. I pray because Jesus prayed to His Father, and if I considered it important so should I. Amen.

Have a Blessed Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. What a great homily! A simple lesson, and yet we so often forget to persevere in prayer.