Our Lord promises the disciples in today’s Gospel that whatever they ask for in his name, he will do. We ask Our Lord for many things in prayer, and sometimes its seem that he does not answer. Some people have turned away from him because they asked for something they thought was very important in a crucial moment and it was not granted, including something noble, like a loved one’s healing, freedom from persecution, the ability to provide for your family.
In this same promise in today’s Gospel we can find an answer to why, at times, Our Lord doesn’t give us what we want in prayer in the way that we want it: “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” When we ask Our Lord for something in prayer, is the asking itself, or having our prayer answered something that would really give glory to God? Would it help his Kingdom to come, his will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, as he teaches us in his prayer? Sometimes we can ask for selfish things, even short-sighted things, in the light of God’s saving plan, but Jesus himself in Gethsemane knew to only ask Our Heavenly Father to take away the chalice of his sufferings if it were possible, and united himself to his Father’s will. We always have to imitate his example.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray for what we want and for what we need, but we should also join our wishes in prayer with the desire to glorify God and to do his will. Then we are working together with him to help his Kingdom come and his will to be done. Sometimes we’ll pray for big things and they won’t turn out as we’d like, but like the mystery of the Cross that Jesus himself endured, sometimes bearing our crosses with faith, hope, and love, give glory to God in a way that doesn’t seem so obvious, or in a way that will be revealed in the passing of time. Let’s continue to pray for what we need, and to also to seek to glorify God in everything that we do.
Readings: Acts 13:44–52; Psalm 98:1–4; John 14:7–14.