Father James Swanson, LC
And he said to
them, "Suppose one of you has a friend to whom
he goes at midnight and says, ´Friend, lend me
three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has
arrived at my house from a journey and I
have nothing to offer him,´ and he says in
reply from within, ´Do not bother me; the door has
already been locked and my children and I are
already in bed. I cannot get up to give you
anything.´ I tell you, if he does not get
up to give him the loaves because of their
friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he
needs because of his persistence. "And I tell you,
ask and you will receive; seek and you will
find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who
seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door
will be opened. What father among you would hand
his son a snake when he asks for a
fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for
an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how much
more will the Father in heaven give the holy
Spirit to those who ask him?"
Introductory Prayer: Lord
Jesus, you are the master of the universe, and yet
you wish to listen to me and guide me.
You know all things past, present and future, and
yet you respect my freedom to choose you. Holy Trinity,
you are completely happy and fulfilled on your own,
and yet you have generously brought us into existence.
You are our fulfillment. Thank you for the gift of
yourself. I offer the littleness of myself in return,
knowing you are pleased with what I have to
Petition: Lord, through this meditation, grant me the grace
of a greater dependence on you.
1. God Wants Us
to Ask: Sometimes we think that since God knows
all things, we need not ask him for anything. We
need only wait until God will give us what
we need. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In this passage, Jesus doesn’t say not to worry; instead
he says that our Heavenly Father will gladly and
lovingly provide whatever we need, provided we ask for
it. One reason why God has arranged things this way
is because if our needs were automatically provided for,
a great number of us would not even realize
there is a God, or we would easily forget him.
There are affluent societies in which the people’s material
needs are taken care of easily. Does such a
situation remind the people of God, his power, or his
love? When we ask God to provide for our
needs, we implicitly recognize his existence and authority in
our lives. God wants us to do this.
2. Petitions in
Prayer Increase My Faith: But there are even
more important reasons God wants us to ask. It is
in asking that our faith grows. The more I
ask, the more I come into a personal relationship with
God. If I never had to turn to him
for my needs, I would never realize how much he
wants to be a part of my life. But
when I have to ask, especially if I have to
put some time and effort into it, then, when
my needs are satisfied, it will be very clear
that God did it. It will be clear that it
wasn’t me, or luck, or anything else, but God.
Don’t be afraid to ask. Develop your faith by doing
3. When I Don’t Ask for What I
Need, I Treat God as My Servant: When we expect
God to give us all we need without asking, are
we not placing the whole burden of our salvation
on him and nothing on ourselves? Are we not
in a sense being lazy? “You know what I need,
Lord. Just give it to me, take care of
it, while I focus on my own interests.” Not only
is this laziness, it is pride, treating God like
a servant whose role is to provide whatever I
need. We forget he is God. Certainly God is generous
and loving, willing to give us everything that is
good for us; but he is still God, and he
deserves our respect, adoration, and especially our gratitude.
Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, so often I expect
you to take care of me without my having
to ask. Help me to live my dependence on you
through the practice of asking you for my needs.
Increase my faith through my prayer so that I see
my real dependence on you and how much you
do for me.
Resolution: What do I most
need today? I will ask God for it early and