A priest in his mid-70’s was sharing with a friend of his that he needed to have surgery for his right foot. He had been having difficulty walking uphill and long distances and this was starting to interfere with his work as the Pastor of a small parish in the city. This surgery was going to improve his situation.
His friend, who was also a classmate of his, said to him that he thought his friend would have to be patient about his recovery. He had to realize that maybe things were going to come around slowly, and that the procedure might not be completely successful. And the priest looked at this friend and said, “You don’t seem to have much confidence in God! God is all powerful and I’m counting on God to come through for me. Remember, nothing is impossible for God.”
How much confidence do we have in God? When we pray, do we think that God will really do something for us—-that God even hears our prayers? Or, is our prayer more a desperate measure, a long-shot, where we’re not really expecting a response?
Today we hear these words: “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” We are encouraged to have confidence in God. To know that God keeps his promises; that God wants to be involved in our lives; and most important of all, that God loves us. Prayer is not an “exact science” where we take a course, learn how to do it, and then move on to something else. Prayer is more about having a relationship with God the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ. Prayer becomes an expression of our deepest needs and longings. Prayer is not about trying to impress God with our holy words as much as it is about being open to receive God’s gifts. So, we have to remind ourselves to stop relying on our human way of looking at life’s situations, and begin to see things in a new way—-the way that God would want us to see them and respond to them.
A great spiritual writer, Sr. Ruth Burrows, a Carmelite Nun, in her book, The Essence of Prayer, puts it this way:
“The fundamental stance a Christian must take is that of receiving Him (God). First and foremost we must accept to be loved, allow God to love us, let God be the doer, the giver, let God be God to us. But how hard it is for us to do that all the time. We are always reversing the role, intent on serving God—-offering God something. Over and over again, Jesus tries to get his disciples to drop the self-important attitude and to understand that, before God, they are only very small children who have no resources within themselves, but must look to their parents for everything, simply everything.”
This is what we are asked to think about today. Have confidence in God. Expect more from Him, and persevere in your prayer—-like Abraham, keep asking. Be dependent on God for everything. “Ask and you will receive”.