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Tuesday 21 May |
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Why do we stop praying?


Jeffrey Bruno

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 11/12/22

Even when our life is falling apart and it seems like the least urgent thing to do is pray, we should remain faithful ...

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

“Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.”

This Gospel verse precedes the account of the parable of the persistent widow, a parable Jesus tells to reiterate the need to never stop praying. But the real question perhaps should be about why we stop praying at some point.

Sometimes we stop because we don’t see that our prayers are being heard. Other times, because we’ve sinned and think our prayers are invalidated by our falls. Other times we stop because we aren’t getting those feelings of well-being and strong emotion that we very often seek in spiritual experiences. Other times, because we are inconsistent. In short, there are many reasons why we stop praying. 

Jesus tells us today that the only way our prayer is worthy is if we never abandon it, even when it seems to us that it’s useless, and even perhaps when our life is falling apart and it seems like the least urgent thing to do is pray.

Fidelity is the condition of all true prayer, and at the basis of this faithfulness should be a great trust in the One to whom we pray:

“Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says,” Jesus says, “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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