Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” (Jn 16:23b-24)
Today’s Gospel is a difficult one for many people to hear.
Why? “I’ve been asking for something for years and the Lord is not listening to me”, would be the reply.
Some people think that, just because Jesus said “ask for anything” in His name, it would be given immediately.
There are a couple of problems with that.
The first problem is that we often do not know for what to ask. Oh, sure, we may have an idea or two about what we want. But, is it really what we need? God is going to give us, in abundance, everything that we need. But God is not Santa Claus who fulfills wish lists. Our prayer must be sincere, and it must be for our own good. If we ask for something bad, don’t look for it.
The second problem is that God has His own time.
Again, some people think that they are asking for something legitimate, sincere, and good for themselves. They very well may be. And God very well may grant it — in His own good time, not in ours.
There are many people who have prayed for years for something and still wait. Keep praying. Look how long it took for the prayers of St. Monica to be answered for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine. Even when she got her prayer answered, she kept on praying. This time, for the conversion of her husband. And he followed years later as well.
Prayer is something that changes us, not God. Prayer is something that helps us to get closer to our Lord. Prayer is something that deepens our relationship with God.
In the end, is that not what we want the most? So, even when we feel our prayers are not being answered, our deepest prayer — a closer relationship with the Lord — is being answered.
FAITH ACTION: In prayer today, do not be afraid to ask the Lord for whatever you feel you need. But, make sure you follow your prayer with a sincere, “Not my will; but, thy will be done.”