REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
October 8, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10
To have faith means to believe that God loves us and that He cares for us and will hear our prayers. It also means that what God can and will do for us is much more than what we can do for ourselves. And what seems impossible for us is certainly not impossible for God.
Our Bible reference is part of the parable in which Jesus tells of a man who goes to his friend in the middle of the night to ask for bread for a visitor. Jesus ends off the parable by saying that if that man’s friend does not get up and give the bread to the man for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give that man all he wants.
But the persistence is not out of the man’s belief in his own ability to get his friend to give in to what he was requesting. The persistence is out of the belief in God who has the power to change hearts and minds to do what He wants.
Sometimes the Bible reference can be misunderstood. Some may think it means that we should pray, pray more and pray harder and eventually God will answer our prayers. Some may think that this means that God does not answer prayer if we fail to pray hard enough. And some may think that whatever we pray for will be given to us if we just keep asking. We need some important clarifications on these points.
We certainly should pray hard and often. But one key question to understand is this: What should I pray for? This is key because God will not give us what we pray for, no matter how long and hard we pray for it, if it is not part of His glorious and perfect will. For example, if someone is sick and dying and it is part of the permissive will of God to allow that person to die, then all the prayer in the world will not change things. Instead, prayer in this case should be offered so as to invite God into this difficult situation so as to make it a beautiful and holy death.
So it’s not a matter of begging God until we convince Him to do what we want, as a child may do to a parent. Rather, we must pray for one thing and one thing only…we must pray for the will of God to be done. Prayer is not offered to change God’s mind, it’s to transform us, strengthen us and enable us to embrace all that God calls us to do.
Reflect, today, upon how you pray. Do you seek only the will of God in all things and pray deeply for that? Do you knock at the heart of Christ seeking His holy and perfect plan? Do you ask for His grace to enable you and others to fully embrace all that He has in mind for you. Pray hard and expect that prayer to change your life.
Lord, help me to daily seek You and to increase my life of faith through prayer. May my prayer help me to receive Your holy and perfect will into my life. Jesus, I trust in You.