By Sharon Wilson
“And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
At the end of today’s Gospel we hear Jesus giving instructions to the apostles. He says “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.
Ok Jesus – Here goes. “Jesus – Please send me 10 million dollars.”
I am waiting….
I guess – Jesus won’t give us anything we don’t need and although I think I need 10 million (or even 1 million) Jesus might have even bigger plans for me and they don’t include a dollar sign.
This paradox in prayer can occasionally be frustrating. We may pray for a loved one to heal from an illness and they don’t. We may pray for a difficult situation to change and it doesn’t. Does this mean that Jesus hasn’t heard our prayers? Does this mean God doesn’t answer our prayers?
The prayers of my daughter when she was young always included a request for a horse. Living in the city – this was not much of a possibility but eventually I happened across a program in a nearby town that specialized in therapeutic riding for riders with disabilities. The program allowed volunteers, like my daughter, an opportunity to ride in-between therapeutic sessions. My daughter would show up at the ranch on a Saturday morning and lead horses around the ring. When the therapy sessions were done she would get to ride! Her focus in volunteering at the ranch was to get time with a horse and ride. She had little interest in the riders until I picked her up one day.
Many of the riders had Autism Spectrum Disorder. She noted to me that most of them didn’t interact with her. One day as we were driving home, instead of talking about the horses she started talking about the kids. She excitedly told me about the change in demeanor of one of the kids. He didn’t talk or hold any kind of eye contact. That is, until, they got on the horse. This fascinated her and from then on her stories of her experiences on the farm became less about the horse and more about the work being done with these kids.
Fast forward 10 years and she is a teacher who loves working with the “difficult” kids in her classroom.
So, you tell me. Did God answer her prayers for a horse? No – she never did own a horse. But I would have to say, God answered her prayers in a bigger way. He answered in a way that taught her patience, service and love. God’s answer isn’t always what it seems.
Can you think of a time in your prayers that it feels like God hasn’t been listening? What have you learned from that experience? Pray today to ask Jesus to reveal to you his will.
About the Author:
Sharon Wilson – Wife, Mother, Writer, Catholic Speaker, and a WINE Specialist. Sharon has a degree in education and has worked as a freelance writer, Respect Life Coordinator, a teacher, in advertising, radio, buyer and in youth advocacy – She even rode an elephant in the circus once! Sharon speaks, writes and shares about God’s healing and about the great gift of being Catholic.