Today’s homily March 14, 2019 is entitled “To Pray is to Ask ” written Fr. Abu.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him”(Matthew 7:11).
Prayer can be summed up in the very word Jesus used in our Gospel passage today: “ASK”; ask, seek and knock. When we pray, we must show deep confidence in God realizing that He is our Father who truly loves and cares for us.
Esther knew this, and that was why she called to God prostrating herself on the ground from morning till night. She asked God to grant her favour in the presence of the king against a man who was making plans to destroy her entire nation. And we all know how God answered her prayer.
There is a difference between asking and complaining. While asking is done with a disposition of love towards God and great optimism, complaining is expressing our bitterness to God without any atom of faith in His ability to grant our requests. To complain is to be outrightly pessimistic.
God was angry with the Israelites in the desert because they complained about their lack of food forgetting that it was the same God who performed great and mighty deeds before their eyes in Egypt. It would have been a different story if they had simply got down on their knees to praise and worship God.
Hence, it is important to remind ourselves of what God has done for us in the past. This would prevent us from complaining. This is why Jesus taught us to praise God first before mentioning our daily bread. “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is heaven…”
Also, there is a great difference between asking and commanding. To ask is to say: “God, let your will be done!” but to command is to say: “God, let my will be done!” Jesus teaches us that God is just like a Father who will never give any of His children a snake or stone when they ask for fish. We must learn to accept whatever happens after prayer as the will of God.
Prayer is powerful. And at the same time, it teaches us how to be humble. Prayer is not all about making demands, it is first and foremost an act of worship. Esther was the Queen of Israel yet before she opened her mouth to pray, she brought herself low by lying on the bare earth from morning till night.
Do you want to pray well? Forget who you are, bring yourself down to the position of a beggar; ask, seek and knock and let God’s will be done.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, strengthen and deepen my prayer life, Amen!
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of the 1st Week of Lent. Bible Study: Esther 14:1-14, Psalm 138 and Matthew 7:7-12).