I sighed when I began to read the Gospel, and the guilt quickly shrouded over me. Jesus has been speaking in a lot of parables lately, and most of them, I just don’t get. I will read the passage a couple times and I still feel like I am one of the disciples Jesus talked about when he said “you shall indeed hear, but not understand,” (MT 13:14). My time attempting to “get something” out of Scripture, deepen my relationship with the Father, or more fully understand the heart of Jesus goes wasted.
The thing is, however, this prayer isn’t wasted. There has never been a half-hearted rosary, a distracted mass, a rushed confession, a dry Holy Hour, or a robotic Nicene creed that has been wasted. Maybe there is no immediate fruit that I can see, but God doesn’t let me waste my time on Him. My effort is what Jesus sees.
He doesn’t look for my perfect prayer life, or my saintly good deeds. All he asks for is my effort.
Faith isn’t perfection. Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy life, and He doesn’t expect a journey free of slip-ups. Faith is knowing in my mind and believing in my heart that Jesus walks that journey with me. It is continuing to pray, even when I feel like no one is listening. It is thanking God in both the easy and the difficult times. It is living my life in a way where I trust that there is a Resurrection to every single one of my sufferings. Jesus lived this life of bold faith.
With bold faith, come bold prayers.
“Jesus rebuked him and said, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.They were all amazed and said to one another, ‘What is about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out,’ (LK 4:35-36).
Jesus knew God would answer His prayer, so He prayed some pretty BOLD ones. He trusted so deeply that His Father in heaven was faithful, merciful, and powerful. I want to trust like Jesus, even though I am far from His perfection. I want to pray bold prayers and know that God will answer them. I want to be bold in faith and action.
I won’t wait until I am perfect to pray bold prayers.
In fact, I can’t wait. Even in my littleness, the world needs those prayers now. My heart needs those prayers now. I will offer God my prayer, even when I don’t want to. I’ll show up at confession for the same sin, time and time again. And when I feel far from God, when I despair, when I feel like a failure, I will still proclaim that I am known, seen, and loved. I will be bold in my imperfection, knowing God’s power is made perfect in my weakness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Delaney Rayner is Texas native currently a student at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is studying Communication Arts and Theology with the hope of fulfilling God’s call for her through media and ministry. Delaney can be found crafting and nailing Pinterest DIYs, belting Taylor Swift’s “folklore” in her car, or praying the rosary in her travel hammock. Whatever she finds beautiful, she photographs - mostly her friends and sunsets. Delaney is told that she is a little too passionate about fonts and St. Pope JPII, but she doesn’t believe in the concept of being “too passionate” about anything that brings joy! She strives for an authentically-lived Resurrected life. Find her on Instagram here.