When God sees someone continuing to pray, convinced of God’s power to help, He is moved.
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis stressed this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on the readings of the day, as he stressed the great power of prayer and how we are to raise ours to God ‘like children.’
The Jesuit Pope reflected on today’s first reading from the Book of Exodus, which tells of the conversation between the Lord and Moses regarding the apostasy of God’s people.
The two fundamental pillars of prayer, the Pope underlined, are courage and patience. Prayer, he continued, must be raised up to God “in freedom, like children.”
Turning to the reading, the Pope recalled how the prophet tries to dissuade the Lord from acting on his “blazing wrath” against His people, who “had forsaken the glory of the living God to worship a golden calf.” During Moses’ dialogue with God, he reminds Him of all the good He had done for his people, including bringing them out of slavery in Egypt, and of the faithfulness of Abraham and Isaac.
Moses’ preoccupation and love for God’s people, the Pope noted, is evident. “He is not afraid to tell the truth and does not enter into the ‘deviation game.'”
“God appreciates this,” said Pope Francis. “When God sees a person who continually prays for something, He is moved.”
“No tangents. I am with the people, and I am with You,” the Pope continued, saying: “This is intercessory prayer: a prayer that argues and has the courage to speak directly to the face of the Lord, who is patient. Patience is needed in intercessory prayer.
“We cannot promise someone we will pray for them, pray only an Our Father and a Hail Mary, and then leave it at that,” the Pope said. “No. If you agree to pray for someone else, you must take this [other] path. And patience is needed.”
In daily life, the Holy Father lamented, there are too many people who will sacrifice those that work for them or that they represent for their own interests and to make money.
Scripture, Pope Francis said, is full of good examples of constancy and the capacity to be patient.
“Two things are needed for intercessory prayer: courage, or parrhesia, and patience. If I want the Lord to listen to my requests, I must return, and return again, to knock at the door of God’s heart, since my own heart is committed to this petition! But if my heart is not concerned for this need, or the person for whom I am praying, neither will it be capable of courage and patience.”
The “path of intercessory prayer,”the Pope stressed, means being genuinely concerned for others and “willing to fight, strive, and fast for them.”
Pope Francis concluded, saying: “May the Lord give us this grace: The grace to pray before God in freedom, like children; to pray with insistence; to pray with patience; but, above all, to pray in the knowledge that I am speaking with my Father, who will listen to me. May the Lord help us to advance in this form of intercessory prayer.”