Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. 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. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:5-13)
We have all prayed to God for so many things. We have asked him for so many graces and favors; we have sought and knocked so often, but it seems that more often than not our petitions are ignored.
Doesn’t it? Be honest.
So many problems, so much suffering, so many difficulties and failures, sins and sorrows—if God really is the Good Father who wants to give us more than we even know how to ask for, why is life such an unending flow of tears and tribulations?
If only we remember one thing, we will never get stuck in cynicism and discouragement. If only we remember what Jesus told Pilate just hours before he sacrificed his own life to redeem us from sin. Jesus told Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).
The fulfillment he yearns to give us is much deeper than we realize, although he sometimes allows us to glimpse it even in earthly terms. Those are the times we believe our prayers are answered.
But it’s the act of prayer which is the true reward.
Prayer is more than a request. It is primarily a relationship. We should ask for what we need. But the clearest reason why we ask is because we understand that we are in a relationship with the God who loves us. Just as in every other loving relationship, we are called to share our wants, our needs, and our hopes with the person who loves us. So, the clearest truth about prayer is that it reminds us that we are related to a God who cares for us and leads us.
Even if our requests are not answered, two things always happen when we pray.
The first is this: we remember who we are. When we pray, we remember that we are not the center of the universe. That can be very helpful for many of us. When we pray, we realize that God is the center of the universe, and that for all of our efforts and projects we need to trust God’s plan. We need to believe that God will bless us and direct our lives.
The second thing that always happens when we pray is we grow more sensitive to God’s action in our life. Because prayer reminds us that God is active, the person who prays sees life in a new way and is more attentive to the blessings and the graces that occur in our lives and in the lives of others. So, every time we pray, we remember who we are and we grow more sensitive to God’s grace.
The sacred scriptures today remind us of the importance of prayer and ask us to pray more, to speak in our own words to God about our lives. God is more than a fact. There is no action more fundamental to our faith than prayer. So, we should not be afraid to ask. Prayer is never wasted. Every time we pray, we remember who we are, that we are beloved daughters and sons of God. And every time we pray, we grow more sensitive and attentive to the beauty and power of God’s action among us.
Prayer of The Day
“Heavenly Father, you are merciful, gracious and kind. May I never doubt your mercy and love nor hesitate to seek you with confident trust in order to obtain the gifts, graces, and daily provision I need to live as your beloved child and constant friend.”
God invites us to pray insistently not because he is unaware of our needs or because he is not listening to us. On the contrary, he is always listening and he knows everything about us lovingly.” But because we pray as we live and live as we pray, he wants to develop in us through prayer the type of perseverance we need to remain faithful in life.