Today we read the powerful story of Jesus healing the blind Bartimaeus. And we are encouraged in our collect to be persistent in prayer and to ask plainly what we need. What a wonderful consolation this is for each of us. A reminder that Jesus desires to meet us in our deepest longings and needs, and has the power to transform our lives! As I reflected on this invitation by Jesus this morning it got me musing about what it would take to be persistent in prayer? I find it easier when I am really struggling to be persistent in my supplications to God. But when things are going well, I tend to be less persistent in keeping the communication open. Perhaps this is true for you? Or perhaps your persistence wanes when God seems to be silent in the face of your requests? Persistence is a wonderful virtue, and for each of us we need to ask God for the specific grace needed to practice this virtue. Then, we need the courage to ask plainly for what we need. Reflecting on this, I realized that the courage is really about being completely honest with myself AND with God about my vulnerabilities and place of need. This is made easier when I lack judgement on my own weakness, when I am trusting that God is not judgemental about my vulnerabilities. In fact, God calls on us throughout scripture to turn to God in our hour of need. Sure in the knowledge of God’s mercy and unconditional love that will meet us there.
As we enter this week I invite you to spend time reflecting on your own prayer life. Notice what helps you with persistence, what gives you the courage to ask plainly for what you need, and for whom and what you are praying. Perhaps, through the week you may re-read the Gospel of the day, and place yourself in the position of Bartimaeus? What mercy do you seek from God? And then perhaps you can place yourself in the crowd—bringing someone to God and encouraging them with the words “ Cheer up! Jesus is calling you!”. May this week be filled with opportunities to encounter, in prayer,
the great love and mercy of God. Pray for me, I am praying for you.
Reverend Anastasia Huntley
24 October 2021