Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary (Lk 18:1).
Jesus did not mean that we are to be kneeling in prayer 24/7, but that we are to be persistent and disciplined in our approach to prayer, just as we would be in any other activity that we seek to have the freedom to perform with fluency. I have many people share with me that they can’t pray. I can’t speak French.
In my early twenties, my father’s mother, Alice, invited me to live with her and my aunt, Mary-Paul, for a year in Quebec and go to university. The purpose would have been to be immersed in French for one year so that I could speak the language fluently. I regret now not taking her up on the offer. Not only would I have been able to learn a new language, but I would also have been able to develop a deeper relationship with my family in Canada.
Many of us who have entertained learning another language have not done so most likely because we have not been persistent and disciplined enough. Many of us do not have a deeper prayer life for the same reason. If our only prayer is an occasional request, well then how fluent will we be in prayer?
Prayer is like learning a new language that takes dedicated time and energy. Just as if I had spent the time living daily with mamémère et matante, I would have not only learned more than this phrase, I would have known them in a more intimate way.
Our very desire to pray is already an invitation from God to learn his language, and as we open our hearts and minds to his invitation and spend time together, our intimacy with him will grow as well. Schedule some one on one time with God this week, five to ten minutes a day so to start to develop a persistent pattern of being together and allow God to happen.
Photo: Three of my aunts, Nicky, Michele, and Marie-Paul last year celebrating Michele’s birthday (Wanted to post a picture with Mamémère, but all my pictures are in Florida! Post if anyone has one 🙂