09 Mar To Pray is to Ask
Homily for March 9, 2017
Payer 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. Jesus says to us:
“If you 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.”
Esther knew this and that was why she called to God prostrating herself on the ground from morning till night. She asked for 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 out rightly pessimistic. God was angry with the Israelites in the desert because they complained about 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 ask.
Hence, it is important to remind ourselves of what God has done for us in the past before we even begin to pray. When we are able to properly remind ourselves, we then realize that what we are asking is little or nothing compared with what God has done already, and this would boost our confidence.
Also, there is a great difference between asking and commanding. To ask is to say: “God, your will be done!” but to command is to say: “God, my will be done!” Jesus taught us to pray for God’s will and not our will. Prayer demands humility to accept whatever happens as God’s will but commanding is treating God as a servant on whom we shout upon and get angry when he does not obey us. And the truth is that many of us are angry with God because we gave commands and failed to accept His will.
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 yet, before she opened her mouth to pray, she brought herself low by lying on the bare earth from morning till night. Don’t just jump into prayer: first have the right attitude, first bring yourself down to the position of a beggar, remind yourself of what God has done for you before now, be grateful for it and realize God still loves us as a Father and He would even do more now.
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 First week of Lent. Bible Study: Esther 14:1-14 and Mathew 7:7-12).