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Thursday, March 1, 2012

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Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8
Matthew 7:7-12

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simply

"If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to anyone who asks Him!" —Matthew 7:11

When Jesus teaches us about prayer, He simply says: "Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you" (Mt 7:7). He does not include any "ifs," "ands," or "buts." He simply says: "Ask and you will receive" (Mt 7:7). We have complicated the matter of prayer through our doubts and confusion. Many times we speculate and theologize, and think we're explaining prayer. However, we really are explaining the effect of our doubts on prayer.

Lent means "spring," a fresh start in our life in the Spirit. We can return to a simple fresh awareness of prayer. We can expect God to be God and overshadow all the human weaknesses confusing us about prayer. We can experience the prayer-power and closeness to God we read about in the Scriptures. We won't have to "explain away" the Scripture, but "believe away" our explanations. Faith, not doubt, will remain. Prayer will no longer be something to read, think, and study about, but something to enjoy.

Sin complicates. Faith simplifies. Let faith simplify your prayer this Lent.

Prayer:  Father, may I pray more often, for longer times, with fewer words, and stronger faith.

Promise:  "Save us by Your power, and help me, who am alone and have no one but You, O Lord. You know all things." —Est C:25

Praise:  Joan worked hard at prayer, and then learned to simply surrender to the Spirit. She then found peace.

Reference:  (Order our tapes to help you increase your prayer life: Daily Prayers on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62, Married Couples Praying Together, audio AV 116-1, video V-116, Family Prayer on audio AV 59-1 or video V-59.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011

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