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 The Power of Prayer

This week’s Gospel is an example of the power of prayer and not only that, but the passion we must demonstrate in our prayer when we make petition to God.

Prayer is essential to our faith and underpins its most important element - the Mass, the Eucharist. We have so many needs in our daily life which we cannot provide by ourselves. Christ has told us Himself: “Ask and you will receive.” When we pray, however, do we do this in a way that shows we have faith or do we simply dip in every now and then as a last resort?

Desperately concerned for her daughter, the Canaanite woman approaches Christ. That in itself shows a level of faith and trust in Christ’s power we need to aspire to. She, by kneeling in front of him, stops him in his tracks. He is going nowhere until her prayer is answered.

It seems strange at first and quite out of character that Our Lord appears to ignore her request. But in her anxiety for her daughter’s well-being, there is no way she is taking ‘No’ for an answer! What parent among us wouldn’t do likewise? In the easy-going and familiar banter that follows, what Jesus is actually doing without her even realising it, is taking the faith that brought her to him in the first place and leading her to something deeper. Of course, Jesus is going to grant her request. It is not within him to refuse such a prayer. She ends up coming away from this encounter with not only her prayer answered, but a deeper personal love of him.

The lesson for us is to show the same perseverance and confidence when approaching God – even to the point of praying as if our life depended on it. When God seems distant and aloof in a world where so much is wrong, it is more important than ever to pray with passion and consistency and never give up hope, just like the Canaanite woman.

P Morrissey

 

 

 

 

 

 

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