The gospel reading at mass today was from Luke, chapter 11 verses 1-13. It was all about prayer, and perseverance in prayer. Jesus uses the example of a man asking his neighbour for bread in the middle of the night; even though the neighbour doesn’t want to get out of bed to get the bread he will because the man just keeps asking. The verses that follow are the “ask and you shall receive, search and you will find, etc” verses. I often hear people quote these verses when they are praying really hard for something. Then if God gives them what they were praying for they exclaim:
“GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER!!!!!”
This is possibly one of my biggest pet peeves, this whole my prayer has finally been answered thing. It’s almost as if if God doesn’t give them exactly what they want they don’t consider their prayers answered. Let’s get something straight here people: God always answers your prayers. Every single time you pray for something God listens and He answers you.
Sometimes He says yes, sometimes He says not right now, and sometimes he even says no. God is not a genie in some big heavenly lamp just waiting to grant you unending wishes, He is our heavenly Father and just like our earthly fathers He wants the best for us.
Just because we ask for something doesn’t mean God is going to give it to us. Now I’m not talking about praying for wisdom or guidance or any other virtue, of course when we ask for those things God will give them to us. I’m talking about praying for a new job, or someone to be cured from cancer, or a new car. 😉
Next time you want to proclaim to the world that your prayers have been answered think about the message you are sending to others with your words. Is it one of complete trust in God, even when He says no? Or is it a message of a spoiled child, who is only excited because you got what you asked for?