How can we explain Jesus saying “Ask and it will be given to you” (Mt 7:7) when we know that we don’t receive everything for which we ask? Taking this verse out of context can create a lot of confusion and cause us much unnecessary anguish. If we continue reading we see that Jesus also says, “Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him.” (Mt 7:9-11). These added words provide important clarification for the original statement.
When we pray, we always get what we need…not necessarily what we want. Sometimes we will get what we are asking for. Other times we’ll get what we request, but we may have to wait. As all of us have experienced, there are times we get something we didn’t ask for. The key to not driving ourselves crazy is to trust that God always knows what we really need.
The words of Our Lord assure us that all prayers get answered…that’s comforting, isn’t it? As we make our way through Lent, let’s try harder to accept God’s answers…
Even if we don’t like them!