KEYS TO EVALUATE YOUR PRAYER LIFE AND UNLOCK ANSWERS TO YOUR PRAYERS (Prayer Reflection for 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Yr.A)

Have you ever wished you were given the opportunity to request for anything you want? Yes, one way or the other, we have all made such statements and wished we were granted the opportunity to turn the hands of time or make choices to determine our future. But the question remains if truly you are given this opportunity, what will your request be? Many claim to pray and pray but never get answers to their prayers, and they don't know why. Today the readings provide us with 2 KEYS to evaluate our prayer life and unlock answers our prayers. 
If you want to obtain these keys, read slowly: (C.f.1 Kings 3:5,7-12)

The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you.’ Solomon replied,...Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil...Since you have asked for this’ the Lord said ‘and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgment for yourself, here and now I do what you ask.  

And again read slowly to hear from Jesus (C.f Matthew 13:44-52)

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field...Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes.’

POINTS FOR REFLECTION
1. Two Questions come from God to us today: The first, addressed to Solomon and by extension to us is: Ask what you would like me to do for you? This question helps you to evaluate your prayer life. This is the first Key. And the second, addressed to the crowd, and by extension to us is: Have you understood all this?

2. The answer to the first question will determine your "Status" in the kingdom of God either as citizens of the kingdom (those who believe in Jesus, not because of material needs) or as citizens of the world (a cursed and perverted generation that seeks for signs- Matt. 16:4). Remember what Jesus says elsewhere: citizens of heaven "seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, then every other thing (including material needs) are added unto them! (Matt.6:33). But to the perverted generation- the citizens of the world, he says: "no sign shall be given unto them except the sign of Jonah"- which is a sign of repentance and conversion! (Matt. 16:4; Jonah 1:2)

3. The second question provides the KEY of Knowledge that helps you to unlock answers to your prayers. The knowledge concerned here is knowledge of the operations of the kingdom of God: which includes knowledge of God, knowledge of other operations in the realm of the Spirit like Faith, Hope, Love, Covenants, vows, promises, Truth, Forgiveness, perseverance, etc. Knowledge of these divine realities presupposes true prayer, that is why scripture says my people perish for lack of knowledge [of God] (Hosea 4:6). Another scripture says where there's no vision, the people perish, but he that keepeth the law is happy (Prov. 29:18). The vision meant here isn't prophecy but divine insights coming from the knowledge of God, and that knowledge is enshrined in the law- the scriptures!
4. Remember knowledge is power, a prayer without this divine knowledge is empty and powerless. It is through divine knowledge that the believer connects to the power of prayer which brings the FUTURE need to happen in the present by connecting the PAST events (or evidence of faith) to the PRESENT! Is this too deep to fathom?

[To Understand the Power of Knowledge in Prayer, Click and Read my work titled: MOVING INTO YOUR FUTURE ]

TASK: 5. After going through this Prayer reflection you should be able to tell where you belong! Take a bold step now, return, and begin to unlock answers to your needs now! Use the keys in your hands!

If you desire a guided step to praying effectively write to me: Click Here

 I pray for you: May the Lord whose face you seek suddenly appear to you in his temple (Malachi 3:1)with answers to your requests. Amen
▪︎Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ 

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