Luke 18 1-8 Psalm 66 1-11 2 Timothy 2 8-15
The readings this week are about relationship and community. They are about family, they are about
loving someone enough to look after them, to make sure they are safe. To know they love you
enough so that when you give them bad news they will know you mean well and the other way
I always remember It was on the 59th minute or so of a 1 hour interview someone told me that I
had done the whole thing with the tail of my suit jacket firmly tucked into my trousers. I had dashed
out the rest room and nobody thought to tell me.
Family tell you things like that, family calms you down when your flustered. Family stop you crossing
the road when the cars coming, tell you when your breath smells, encourage you when your
flagging. Let you know if you have been rude, and love you lots and lots through all those things. On
your good days and your bad days, the dialogue keeps us on the straight and narrow. You accept all
those things from family because they love you lots and lots.
They stop you eating too much chocolate.
How our families do that is by the constant dialogue of family life
We can understand exactly how Paul did that because of his letters. In todays reading the
community, he is talking to Timothy in Ephesus, which was in modern day turkey, about an hour’s
drive from Izmir where lots of people go on holiday.
The aim here is to help Timothy understand
how to create a good culture and deal with problems, and some problematic people in a very new
church, and a lot of Timothy must be seen in that light. That specific person, being told how to
manage that specific church, with specific people, in it causing it very specific problems. He
includes prayer in his letters as a thing to do and as a way, he was guided.
, so when Paul directs people, it we can read his letters?
When it’s family or friends they speak to us
How do we do that with God though, how do we talk to god and how does God direct us?
We could write letter or poem like the person that wrote the psalm has done.
A psalm is sort of a letter or a poem to God really. Looking at them they are people bringing their
joy, and Desires and complaints to god, the psalms also show us how god directs the writer, and
then by us reading them directs us.
The majority in fact of our psalms are mainly people complaining, moaning, asking for justice. So our
psalms show us God values and listens to our distress and takes it seriously. They are called psalms
Jesus story today shows us another way we can do all that a psalm does with God, and that’s called
prayer. Prayer is dialogue with god, prayer is working directly with the greatest force in all creation.
Jesus also showing us how to pray shows also a very important thing about prayer, Persistence
often pays off.
Persistence can sound. hard, but like when I want a new set of golf clubs, or Mrs T wants a new
kitchen, you may want a new game, or a new phone, or whatever it is we want. When our family
wants us to behave better. Sometimes being persistent is the best way.
That’s what our reading says, be persistent. That sounds like taking great chunks of our day and
setting them aside, but Our heritage as Christian’s show there are lots of examples of different ways
The way we can be persistent doesn’t have to mean kneeling and closing our eyes. These are good
ways of making God your center of attention. But Prayer can Take many forms , A dialogue as we
drive , or shower , or over dinner, or before we sleep or whenever is just as good. As long as you are
paying attention to God, then God is paying attention to you. In fact God is always paying attention
to you even when you are not.
That’s the thing about prayer it can take many forms, and be like many things. It can be at the
shopping Centre,it can be a letter , or a psalm, it can be as we walk, it can be eyes open or closed, it
can be happy or sad. Restricting prayer to that 5 minutes or so when we “do prayer” is like saying to
your family, I am only going to talk to you for one hour today when we do our chat.
They would wonder what’s gone wrong, and be very sad. Also you probably wont get those trainers
or golf clubs or kitchen. Prayer is a dialogue, spoken or unspoken,, written or unwritten, happy or
sad, angry or calm. But it should be just part of life. I quite often ask God into my business meetings
before I start and it does really help?
In the bible we do prayers of confession (we did that right at the beginning of the service today) of
adoration, people make promises to god, people ask for healing, prayers of thanks, and later we will
do the Lord’s Prayer which is us asking god for seven different things.
Prayer is that constant awareness of God, that can fluctuate and gods awareness of us which never
does. St Benedict says we can give whatever we do to God because Gods in it already, the washing
up , the cooking. We can say this is for you and offer it to him. Like the old song the little drummer
boy, we can make whatever we do a gift to him. Even playing the drums as best we can. God wants
us to involve him in everything we do.
That’s what Jesus means today, persistence, meaning the constant dialogue that goes on between
people we love. All the magnificent, moving, good bad, boring mundane stuff of our daily lives
shared with God.
and that as Jesus says today is when prayer really works, for us for God and we really become part of
Gods friends and family. That of course is what God really wants.