You Can’t Always Get What You Want….

but, we get what we need from God.

Our prayers are always answered, but we don’t always get exactly what we prayed for.

The themes this week  are prayer and persistence.  In the first reading from Genesis (Genesis 18: 20-32), Abraham is haggling with God as if  God were his friend – God is our friend.  Abraham is bargaining with God to save cities from destruction if there are 50, then 40 ,  then 30, then 20  and finally 10 innocent people found in the city.  Abraham’s prayers and persistent negotiating with God resulted in God agreeing to save the cities if there were only 10 innocent people found. It’s Abraham’s prayers, persistence and relationship with God that allow his prayers to be answered.

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke (Luke 11:1-13) gives us a similar message with the themes of prayer and perseverance.  As some of Jesus’ disciples were watching Jesus pray, one of them said, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”

As always, it’s more important what we do with our actions than what we say with our words. Very importantly, Jesus’ disciples constantly see him in prayer.   Jesus then instructs the disciples to pray with the words of the “Our Father.”

Jesus taught us to pray to God as Our Father, Our Dad, Our Papa, Our Daddy.  God is just not Jesus’ Dad, God is OUR Dad! When we talk about each other as brothers and sisters, it’s true because we all have the same Dad.

He taught us to ask our Dad –  God –  to “forgive us our sins”, and he instructed us to show forgiveness of others too, “for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us.”  Did you happen to notice the word “everyone?”  Can we ask God to forgive us when there are still people in our life whom we have yet to forgive?

Jesus goes on to tell the disciples a story that you should read about a friend who is looking to borrow food in the middle of the night so that he can take care of a friend who unexpectedly arrived at his house.  Have you ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night to ask for help?  “My car broke down and I need a ride!”  or  “Some guests just arrived and we don’t have enough beds. Can I borrow a few sleeping bags and pillows?”  Our friend may respond by saying something like, “It’s 11AM, call me in the morning!”  We all know that when we persist in asking a friend for help, she always helps.

Jesus uses that story to remind us to constantly pray to God and to persevere in our prayers.  Jesus’ words are too perfect for me to paraphrase so here they are:

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;

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.”

We’re being encouraged to seek and to find the things that conform with God’s will.  Our prayers are always answered. It’s up to us to look for the grace in God’s response – especially when it manifests in an answer which is different from our request.

We can’t always get what we want, but we have faith that we always get what we need!

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2 Responses to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want….”

  1. Halaty Says:

    Eternal rest grant unto Dot, O Lord, and may your perpetual light shine upon her and toguhrh Thy great Mercy, may she rest in peace. Amen.

  2. Says:

    Whoever edits and publishes these articles really knows what they’re doing.

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