Lent: Persevering Prayer

March 9, 2022
Thursday of the First Week of Lent

Today, in Mercy, our readings could be so reassuring about the power of our prayer, except …..

How often have you prayed
for something that you didn’t get?


In our reading from the Book of Esther, Esther certainly puts everything she has into her prayer for deliverance:

Queen Esther – By Jean-François Portaels

She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.

The passage, in isolation from the rest of the Book, might lead us to conclude that Esther’s prayer is simply about her asking for, and receiving, what she wants from God. It’s about much more.


Esther, like Christ, is in a position to save her people. She must risk her life to do so. She is praying for the courage to do God’s will, to look past her own comfort and become an agent of grace in her circumstances.

Now that’s some kind of prayer!


Prayer can be like looking in a mirror. All we see reflected back is our own need and desire. We don’t pray honestly and openly enough to let God open a door in the mirror – a door into God’s own will and hope for us.

That’s the door Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel.

  • What we ASK is not just for something we want, but rather to know God’s heart.
  • What we SEEK is not our own satisfaction, but the grace to embrace God’s mysterious energy in our lives no matter how it comes to us.
  • What we KNOCK for and desire to be opened to us is deeper love and fuller relationship with our loving God.

Sometimes, the problem with prayer is that we think it’s like asking our rich uncle for a permanent loan. It’s only when we comprehend that prayer is a relationship that the RECEIVE, FIND, and OPENED parts become real for us.


Poetry: Morning Prayer – Renee Yann, RSM

Photo by WARREN BLAKE on Pexels.com

I walk the earth, soft
from yesterday’s long rain.
Mists ascend like incense
under my indulgent footfalls.
Birdsongs thin themselves
between the early light;
chanting, contrapuntal, in
the well-laved trees.

Nothing grey is left now
in the wide sky.
Rinsed in light
it spreads to dry
in sere, blue wind.

Momentarily, earth
is wholly God’s;
deep, true colors fall to it,
rich, unshadowed.
Your Word, Creator,
WaterGod, has penetrated.
It returns to You in crystal images
from a finally uncomplicated world.

As if within a lucent globe
I hold You still,
in perfect, silent love,
clear, inexplicable
like sunlit rain.


Music: two offerings today. One is old-time revival. The other is classic beauty. Enjoy.

Prayer Is the Key to Heaven – Alan Brewster

Music: Overture from Esther – George Frideric Handel

4 thoughts on “Lent: Persevering Prayer

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