We pray for what we desire — Scripture tells us to as in Luke 11 today — and then we wait and see if we receive it. Prayer takes on many forms: intercession, praise, adoration, thanksgiving, petition. Like the man in today’s Gospel, we may stand outside asking and knocking until the Holy One answers the door. What do we think of this One who opens the door when we do not get the answer we hoped for? How do we deal with what looks like a stone when we asked for bread or a scorpion when we asked for an egg? Our expectations may look different than what is placed before us. What then?
How do we see God in times of struggle? When we try to save face in order to provide for those in need and need to humble ourselves like the person in the Gospel, do we dare boldly ask for what we need? Some of us will not. We will stand stubborn in our shame or complain without trying to remedy the problem. Are we afraid of no? Of being further embarrassed or stressed? Of waiting for the door to be opened at all? Who is this on the other side?
We ask for what we think is within God’s will and yet we may not have completely discerned that. A story from the life of Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher whose Feast Day we celebrate today illustrates how we must be faithful to God, even if it is hard. On her deathbed, she asked a sister to stop praying for her as she was keeping her here and she wished to go Home. This moved me when I read it–I had to do the same for my own sister. I distinctly remember realizing that many were praying for her to be cured and raising my own prayer, asking it to supersede all others and mercifully bring her Home. The nurse came five minutes later to say she would be dying momentarily if we wanted to go to her bedside.
I believe in a Merciful God who will answer the door when we knock. The answer will come and it may not look like the bread we desire or the egg we asked for. However I think the outcome will be more amazing than we expected. Blessed Marie Rose knew this and we can learn the lesson too.
What do you need to ask for?
How do you expect the answer to be given?
I knock at the door, filled with longing, but boldness. I know you are merciful. I trust you to answer and give what is needed. May I receive this with grace and peace. Amen.