In the illustration used by Jesus in the Gospel, a person goes to their neighbor’s house and calls inside for a needed favor. The father inside is not immediately obliging. The door’s locked and his sons and daughters are already at rest. But Jesus says, ‘…If the father does not get up… because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of the person’s persistence.’
Why will the father end up doing the favor in the end? Because of the father’s children. Imagine all the kids in there, in the dark and in their beds, with the neighbor at the door, knocking: *pounding* “Daaad.” *more pounding* “Dad, do whatever they want!”
The father in this story stands for our Father in heaven, who can sometimes seem reluctant in answering our prayers. The children in the story are the saints in heaven, the sons and daughters who rest in the Father’s house.
What is it like for the souls in heaven to hear our prayers? Perhaps the experience St. Faustina of the Divine Mercy on earth gives us a glimpse into the experience of the saints in heaven. In the Diary of St. Faustina, a book which I highly recommend for spiritual reading, the Polish nun records this:
“It has happened to me for some time now that I immediately sense in my soul when someone is praying for me; and I likewise sense it in my soul when some soul asks me for prayer, even though they do not speak to me about it. The feeling is one of certain disquiet, as if someone were calling me; and when I pray I obtain peace.”
This reaction makes perfect sense, for how could a good person hear of another’s heartfelt needs and not insist that our Father act? Or how could a saint remain at rest while someone knocks at the door of heaven? Knowing this, how then should we pray? Imagine what doors would open for us, if only we would persist in knocking? Or imagine what gifts would we receive, if only we would try asking? So knock, and ask, boldly.