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Bishops’ & Teachers’ Blog 3 – 2023

How easy is perseverance in prayer?

6-year-old Chris, finds persistence in prayer hard. I think anyone at the age of 6 can be forgiven for this! Actually, anyone can be!

We all start out strong: praying for our own desires or maybe for a friend’s situation. But then time takes its toll. Our own desires don’t seem to be getting any closer – and our friend’s situation remains unchanged.


For me what happens is FRUSTRATION! And this is exactly what happens to our main character, Chris. Chris has been praying with his mum for, what seems to be, a very long time for a friend down his road. Thankfully his mum is at hand to comfort and support him. I, myself, find that sharing my frustrations in prayer with a trusted friend or relative can be really helpful. It helps give us some perspective. In this way we can remain calm and continue to pray.

What is God’s Will?

But it’s not that simple, is it?! What we need to know is if this ‘thing’ that we are praying for is actually God’s Will for us. That way we know if we will actually receive it! For example, why can’t Chris make more friends at school and then have ‘play dates’ with them? Surely, that would solve his desire?! That’s what most parents would do. He would then have plenty of friends to run around with… Well, Chris does have some friends at school- but he is shy and doesn’t find the process easy. And for some reason, he feels that a ‘Best Friend Forever’ who lives along his road is what he really needs. It is a deep desire.

Spiritual Support from Parents

Parental spiritual support is a huge responsibility! In our story, Chris’ mum, is going along with supporting Chris’ prayer because she obviously has some spiritual sense that the fulfilment of this desire would be a good gift from God. She and Chris’ father are his spiritual directors! They know their child and they can see the fruit that this desire is producing. They can see if it is drawing him closer to or further away from God. They can see if it’s a ‘flash in the pan idea’ or something much deeper. I pray that all our children’s parents are so discerning. But what if they are not? In the Catholic church we don’t actually have any formal “passing-on-the-faith-lessons”.

In my humble opinion, and I am not a parent, I think that ‘Passing on the Faith’ lessons are vital and could be ground-breaking for our children!

If each parent did this, they would also have to examine their own beliefs. Are they listening to God or not? Perhaps they are making all their decisions without asking God at all? Unless one has been taught how to do this, most people will carry on through life under their own steam. And how many priests know and understand how to support parishioners in showing them how to listen to God? I recommend the free courses from It’s protestant but can easily be used by Catholics. I came across it through the Catholic organisation Celebrate Trust:

The Lessons

So, in a nutshell, ‘A Prayer from the Heart’ acknowledges that God has a plan for Chris’ life regarding friendship. Chris’ mum feels it is the right thing to urge Chris to wait on the Lord, despite the time that is passing.

So, Chris continues to pray. He is learning some very important aspects of prayer. He is learning that God has heard his every prayer- his prayers have not been ignored.