Hello St. Francis,
I was talking with a friend recently about how reluctant she is to ask God for things. Me, I’m a terrible nuisance, and nothing is too trivial for me to pray about, from the common cold to parking spots. But I often forget to ask for things that really matter, from big things like the growth of God’s kingdom to little things like daily help with my anxieties and ungodliness.
So why don’t we ask God for things? Sometimes we may think that our requests seem too trivial to bother him with. Sometimes we may be protecting ourselves from disappointment and doubt. Sometimes maybe we can even feel like we’re being discontented, selfish or greedy. Often, I think that we may assume that our prayers can’t affect any outcome or we think we can handle it ourselves. And finally, we assume God is unwilling or unable to help.
So why ask God for things—even trivial things, even things we’re uncertain he wants us to have?
As I talked with my friend, I realized that asking is a step towards relationship, not a step away from it. It’s better to ask and deal with our disappointment and doubt if God says “no” than never to ask anything at all, at least we’re dealing with God, not ignoring him! Asking is an expression of dependence: when we ask, we rely on God rather than ourselves.
It is tempting to manipulate a situation so that what we desire comes to pass. However, taking a situation into our own hands usually leads to conflict, frustration, and discouragement. In order to truly seek God’s will and not our own, we should consider the benefits of receiving our request and the benefits of not receiving our request.
In this way, our expectations balance out and we can pray with a heart surrendered to God, trusting that He will do what is best for us and most glorifying to Him. When we have just as many reasons to thank God for not granting something to us as we have for receiving something, then we can take true delight in seeing God perform His perfect will, whatever it may be.
As we grow, our prayers will grow bigger too; but God wants us to come as we are, trusting he will hear us, like children to their father and mother, bringing both our big and small concerns to him.
So, I think there is something we can all pray for together. Moms!!! Whoever these people are or were in our lives, this week, we remember them in a special way.
So, my friends, let us pray:
Good and Gentle God, we pray in gratitude for our mothers and for all the women of theory who have joined with you in the wonder of bringing forth new life. You who became human through a woman, grant to all mothers the courage they need to face the uncertain future that life with children always brings.
Give them the strength to live and to be loved in return, not perfectly, but humanly. Give them the faithful support of husband, family and friends as they care for the physical and spiritual growth of their children. Give them joy and delight in their children to sustain them through the trials of motherhood. Most of all, give them the wisdom to turn to you for help when they need it most. Amen.
MUSIC FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER
PROCESSIONAL: PLENTY GOOD ROOM