Thursday of the First Week of Lent, March 5
May We Never Hesitate to Pray with Confidence, Always Trusting in God’s Providential Love, for We Are Truly His Children and He Is Truly Our Most Loving Father.
In our First Reading, we hear the plea, “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you…”
– a prayer by Queen Esther for the deliverance of her people from the threat of extermination. Her prayer springs from a mortal anguish deep within herself, and is a genuine expression of her faith in God as the Deliverer of her people.
How often do you and I find ourselves presenting a laundry list of problems that we would like God to fix for us? They may not be as life-threatening and dramatic as Esther’s, but they are still very real to us.
How often do we find ourselves placing our needs and concerns at the very feet of God Himself? More often than not, when we are in need, we find ourselves talking to God – more of a conversation than some sort of formalized prayer.
And oftentimes, from a perspective of true humility, realizing that we have no real control over future events in our life or the lives of our loved ones, we end up repeating, in our own words, those used by Esther in today’s First Reading, “…help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O LORD, my God.”
When we present our needs and our wishes before our Lord, we have taken the time to open our hearts to the virtue of humility and acknowledge that God is the only One who is truly able to address our deepest concerns.
And no matter what our conversation with God may be about, we almost always feel better after having spent some quality time speaking to Him. It is as though He comforts us by our choosing to spend some personal time with the God who loves each one of us beyond all manner of human description.
“Ask and it will be given to you; 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.” – a promise our Lord gives to us in today’s Gospel.
Yet, we also know that, even though God does listen to and answer every one of our requests, His answer may not always be what we had requested, or what we had thought of or expected, especially if our prayers are not in agreement with His will for us.
When we were children, we probably had a whole laundry list of things that we wanted for Christmas or our birthday. For a girl, maybe it was a new doll or a make-up kit, for a boy, maybe a new toy truck or toy soldiers. Maybe we wanted a new bicycle or some other item that was our heart’s desire.
But as we grow older and more mature, our desires also mature, and we begin to realize that there are some things in life which just cannot be bought – love, happiness, health. Our laundry list begins to change from “material things” to those qualities in life which provide us with a sense of spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
Lent affords each of us an opportunity to take inventory of our own personal prayer life – our intimate conversation with God. And when we reflect upon our own spirituality, how do we see ourselves praying, and what does our prayer life say about our individual walk of faith – that which you and I hold to be true and profess daily?
Prayer is a means by which you and I communicate with God on a very personal and intimate level. It is the process by which you and I knock on the door of His Heart. Prayer is the raising of our mind and heart to God in both praise and petition. And it also involves not only our conversing with God, but also setting aside quiet time so that we may listen to Him speak to us.
Esther’s prayer on behalf of her people is a model for each of us. She prayed for help according to God’s promise to be faithful to his people, and her prayer was filled with humility and an abiding confidence that God would hear her petition – a petition which came from the very depths of her heart and soul.
God wants you and me to remember that He has also made promises to each of us, and to have confidence in our prayer – counting on, depending upon His help in our times of need.
And our Lord calls us to reflect upon a very basic truth, “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.”
When we pray with an unquestioning faith, when we pray with deep humility, when we pray with resolute perseverance, desiring only what is best for our loved ones or for ourselves, and when our pleas are in agreement with His Divine will, God will not turn His back on us!
An introduction which I place each day on the Daily Prayer Requests includes a promise our Lord made to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.”
And one of Saint Padre Pio’s favorite expressions was, “Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”
It is through our faith and unwavering trust in God’s providential care, and also by conforming our will to His, that our Lord will most assuredly respond to our pleas.
As you and I travel throughout our Lenten journey, may we never forget that our God is a God who truly understands the human condition. May we always remember that our God is a God who is filled with limitless compassion, mercy and understanding. May we never doubt in God’s undeniable and boundless Love which He holds for each one of us!
And may we never hesitate to pray with confidence, always trusting in His Divine Providence as He watches over us and cares for our every need, for we are truly His children; for He is truly our Most Loving Father, who only wishes to bless us with every good gift! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you…” (Esther C:14b-15)
- “…help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O LORD, my God.” (Esther C:25bc)
- “Come and hear, all you who fear God, while I recount what has been done for me. I called to him with my mouth; praise was upon my tongue. Had I cherished evil in my heart, the Lord would not have heard. But God did hear and listened to my voice in prayer. Blessed be God, who did not reject my prayer and refuse his mercy.” (Psalm 66:16-20)
- “On the day I cried out, you answered; you strengthened my spirit.” (Psalm 138:3)
- “Ask and it will be given to you; 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.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
- “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:11)
- “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22)
- “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
- “Then [Jesus] told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” (Luke 18:1)
- “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
Prayer for the Day
“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;Anonymous Confederate Soldier
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do great things;
I was given sickness that I might do better things.
“I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for God.
“I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I received nothing I asked for – but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayer was answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.”