ASK WITH FAITH
The prayer of petition has been an object of strong criticism throughout these years. The person depicted as modern doesn’t happen to put self in an attitude of supplication before God, since he knows that God isn’t going to change the natural course of events to attend to our desires.
Nature is «a machine» that functions according to some natural laws, and the human being is the only being that can act and transform, just in part, the world and history with our intervention.
Therefore the prayer of petition gets locked up in order to cultivate other forms of prayer like praise, thanksgiving or adoration, that can vibrate better with modern thinking.
Other times the supplication of the creature to our Creator gets replaced by meditation or immersion of the soul in God, the ultimate mystery of existence and source of all life.
However the prayer of supplication, so controversial for its possible misunderstandings, is decisive for expressing and living out from faith our creature dependence in front of God.
It’s not strange that Jesus himself praises the great faith of a simple woman who knows how to plead insistently for help. One can invoke God from whatever situation. From happiness and from adversity; from well-being and from suffering.
The man or woman who raises petition to God doesn’t direct themselves to a Being that’s apathetic or indifferent to the suffering of God’s creatures, but to a God who can leave hiddenness behind and manifest closeness to those who beg God.
That’s what it’s all about. Not about utilizing God to get our objectives, but to seek and ask for God’s closeness in that situation. And the experience of God’s closeness doesn’t depend primarily on fulfilling our desires.
The believer can experience God’s closeness in many ways, independently of how our problem gets resolved. Let’s remember the wise piece of advice from St. Augustine: «God hears your call if you seek God. He doesn’t listen if by means of God you seek something else».
This isn’t the time of definitive fulfillment. Evil isn’t conquered totally. The person who prays experiences the contradiction between the misfortune he suffers and the definitive salvation promised by God. That’s why all concrete supplication and petition to God always stays wrapped in that grand supplication that Jesus himself taught us: «Your Kingdom come», the kingdom of salvation and of definitive life.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf