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Thursday, March 13, 2014

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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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you asked for it

"Ask, and you will receive." —Matthew 7:7

The Lord commands us to ask Him, but for what? Jesus taught us to ask God for His name to be hallowed, His kingdom to come, His will to be done (Mt 6:9-10). The Lord is not commanding us to ask for our wants, but for His wants. This presents a problem, for we often "ask wrongly, with a view to squandering what" we receive on our pleasures (Jas 4:3). Prayer is not getting our will, but God's will.

However, if we seek first God's kingdom and His way of holiness (Mt 6:33), the Lord gives us our daily bread (Mt 6:11). When we ask for God's wants, we receive our needs. However, when we ask for our wants, we move away from talking to God into talking to ourselves. We may appear to be praying, but we're actually in a self-centered monologue.

Asking is difficult for us. We can't ask for His will and our will at the same time, unless our will is conformed to His. Asking means dying to self, repenting of sin, and taking up our daily cross (Lk 9:23). Asking is not playing prayer games with God, but communicating with the Lord in a heart-wrenching, self-denying way. Asking requires love and faith. The Lord is giving you now the command and grace to ask. Therefore, ask.

Prayer:  Father, transform me this Lent. I will no longer ask in my name but in Jesus' name.

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:  Bernard, a sixteen year_old, asked the Holy Spirit for the gift of leadership when he received prayers to be renewed in the Spirit.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013

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