“For everyone who asks, receives…”

In another excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 7:7-12), Jesus talks to His disciples about the efficacy of prayer and how the Father knows best how to give the right gifts to those who ask.  Jesus closes with The Golden Rule.  Jesus gives us much to ponder in these words, but let us focus on the short phrase that heads this post.  It is not uncommon for us to ask God for things — in fact, petition is undoubtedly the most common type of prayer.  Getting exactly what we ask for — now that is another story.  Yet we know if we ask, we receive from God — Scripture is clear here.  God knows what is best for us, and so He always honors our sincere requests, but not necessarily on our timetable or in the way we want.  Remember Isaiah’s words: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is 55:9)  This is why, when petitioning God, it is best to preface our requests with “If it be your will, Lord…” or end our requests with “…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk 22:42) — or both.  What is required is trust.

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