Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. (Mk 11:24)
The above words of Jesus seem very clear, but they can be a big source of frustration. Our Lord’s statement becomes especially difficult when our prayers appear to be unanswered. If I pray to win the lottery and it doesn’t happen, is it because my faith is too weak?
Not necessarily. It could be that winning the lottery isn’t the best thing for your salvation. The wealth could cause you to abandon God and live a life that will result in the loss of your soul. Thankfully, God knows us better than we know ourselves and if we stay close to Him, he will help us to stay on the right path. While it’s true that we can still “mess things up” for ourselves, God will ensure that the odds are in our favor.
We should always keep the lines of communication with the Lord open by prayer, Scripture reading, and receiving the Sacraments. These actions will enable our will to align more perfectly with that of the Lord. The end result will be that our desire for “bad things” will decrease and we’ll begin to seek those things which will bring us eternal life. And we must continue to ask God to increase our faith. While we can’t just make up our mind to “believe more”, we can ask Him to help us to believe more.
If we do these things, the Lord’s comment above will make perfect sense!