“Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”

Back to Mark on a Sunday, Jesus has an encounter with the brother apostles James and John (Mk 10:35-45).  They start out by saying the words above and then ask to sit at Jesus’ right and left in glory.  Jesus replies by asking them if they can drink of the same cup as that from which He will drink.  They say they can. Jesus says they will, but He cannot promise them the exalted places for which they ask.  The other ten get very angry when they get wind of the brothers’ request.  Jesus then calls all twelve together to tell them that they should not desire to rule but rather to serve everyone as Jesus Himself exemplifies and will completely fulfill in His coming death.    James and John, by starting off with those words to Jesus, show us exactly how not to act when beginning to pray.  Rather, our words are to be: “Teacher, we want to do for you whatever you ask of us.”  This is the proper disposition to have to God, i.e., humility.  Can we ask the Lord for things or intentions?  Of course.  He wants us to (cf. Lk 11: 9-12 and Mt 7:7-11).  But we must always seek to conform our wills to God’s will, saying when all is said and done: “Thy will be done.”  In fact, it is quite a good practice to incorporate into every conversation with God the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:9-13), from which the just quoted words are taken.  Aligning more and more closely to God’s purpose for us will bring us the freedom, joy, and peace that are the fruits of walking in the truth.

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