Saturday, January 10, 2009

Is It True That God Will Give Us Whatever We Ask For?

Once upon a time, while I was visiting a fourth-grade class at the parish school, Sister Maureen asked the class: “Boys and girls, before Father John leaves, does anyone have a question for him?” One young man raised his hand.

“Yes, Michael, what is your question?”

“Father, is it true that whatever we ask God, he will give us?”

“Michael, I can tell you for sure that if you ask God for something that is good for you, he will hear you.”

“Father, when you say that God will hear us, does that mean he will give us whatever we ask for?”

“Now, Michael, that’s a very good question. I won’t answer it myself; I’ll let Saint John answer it. In his First Letter, Saint John writes: ‘Since we know that God hears us in regard to whatever we ask for, we know that whatever we have asked for is ours, so long as it is according to his will.”

“Thank you once again for visiting our class, Father. Before you leave, I’d like to ask you a question myself.”

“Go ahead, Sister.”

“Is there anything in particular that we should be asking God for?”

“Yes, Sister, there is. In that same letter, Saint John tells us to pray for people who don’t do what God wants, who commit sins, even little sins. We should pray that God will forgive them, and help them to do what is right.”

“That’s true, Father. In class, we have been learning that we are all God’s children, because we have been baptized. We learned that everyone who is baptized is protected by God, so that the Evil One, the devil, can’t harm us. We also learned that Jesus, the Son of God, has come to save us, and that the Holy Spirit will help us to know what is true, and what is right.’

“Yes, Sister, that is also a part of Saint John’s letter, which we are reading at daily Mass during this first week after the Christmas vacation. And before I leave, I would ask all the girls and boys in the fourth grade to pray for one another, and for you and me, Sister, that all of us will be on guard against temptation. And I promise that Sister and I will pray for you all, boys and girls, because God hears all of our prayers, but especially the prayers we offer for each other, instead of for ourselves.

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