WHAT DO YOU WANT THE LORD TO DO FOR YOU?|HOW TO PRAY AND GET ANSWERS|29th Sunday|Year B

Have you been worried that your prayers have not been answered? Then there's something amiss! Listen, people often waste their time and energy trying to persuade God to grant a request or bless something that God has no interests in. And they become frustrated, envying those that have been blessed, and forgetting that God is not a magic switch that responds to all our whims and caprices.
The best way to get answers to your prayers is to find out what God wants for you (God's will for you) and it will not be difficult to persuade Him to answer those kinds of prayer requests. If you wish to know this, read slowly...

Cf. Mark 10:35-45
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’ When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John...
POINTS FOR REFLECTION 
1. From the gospel, we learn that God answers all prayers, either with a Yes, No, or wait, and in some cases, He could modify our requests to suit His Divine will as we see in the case of James and John. The response of Christ to the requests made by James and John confirms St Paul's observation when he says: "we do not know how to pray well..." (Rom 8:26). Indeed, James and John did not pray well because they sought something outside the Divine will but Christ reveals to them the Divine will and modifies their requests. This shows that we waste our time and energy praying for something outside God's plan for us. The question then is how should we pray? How do I know God's will for my life?
2. To get answers to your prayers you MUST: 
a. Become a True follower of Christ because answer to prayer is a benefit that Christ promises exclusively to his followers. As the bible says: "Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him” (John 9:31). And another scripture says: "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil“ (1 Peter 3:12).
b. Submit your Life to God's will: God's will is that which promotes the kingdom of God. To get your prayers answered you must not only be a True believer and follower but also do all in your power to promote God's kingdom. That is what I call the Kingdom Principle- something we ask in the Lord’s Prayer when we say "Thy Kingdom come." God's kingdom must come through us, through our good works, hence Christ says: seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and other things will be added unto you. The other things that will be added are Power and Glory, as we normally pray: "for Thine (God's) is the kingdom, the power and glory..."
c. Ask according to God's will, not your cravings: God is not under obligation to answer any prayer that is based on evil, impure desires, or contrary to His will. Hence scripture warns us: "You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). But If what you ask aligns to His will you MUST get it for the Bible says: Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
God's will is best discovered through deep and sincere prayers, reflection and meditation on the Word of God in relation to our life experiences. Ask yourself: what does GOD'S WORD say concerning my present condition. Without that 'particular Word' you can't address some peculiar situations.
d. Ask with faith: To get results you must ask with faith, not only believing that God hears you but by taking possession of His promises (God's Word) by faith, as scripture says: "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:24) because "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).
e. Be Persistent, Constant in Prayer, Keep believing and be specific: keep praying and believing, day after day. Continue standing on God's promises despite the absence of any encouraging signs, or even in the face of adversity or discouragement. Keep seeking signs to know if you're praying well. Don't get weary or tired or feel you are boring God with your prayers. God never gets weary over our prayers, as the bible says: 
I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. (Isa 62:6-7).
And to tell the parable about the persistent widow who sought justice from a corrupt judge, the bible says: "then He spoke a parable to them, why men always ought to pray and not lose heart..." (cf Lk 18:1-8).
f. Be thankful always and testify: Thanksgiving to God and testimonies of God's doings are weapons of victory for present and future battles! As scripture says: God takes delight in the praises of his people and crowns them with salvation (cf Ps 149). The same Psalm says: Let the praise of God be on your lips and a two-edged sword in your hand (Ps 149:6). Another scripture says: they conquered by the blood of the Lamb and by the words of their testimony (Rev 12:10). These reveal the power of testimonies and thanksgiving.
Remember, the Lord continues to ask, even now: What do you want me to do for you? If I were you, I would respond like Solomon and seek wisdom to know His will and pray according to his will.

TASK: The last point is something we mostly forget. Read Deut 10:8,18|2 Cor 9:6 and pray Psalm 33 now. Take this as a guide: as your blessings increase so also your thanksgiving and testimony should increase. Stop complaining, pray instead. Always make your thanksgiving offering and share your testimonies with others to build their faith and body of Christ.
I Pray for you: may the Lord look upon you with mercy and answer all your prayers now in Jesus name. Amen.

NB: Don't forget to leave your comments below and share your testimonies.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks Fr for breaking the word in a clear and sound manner. I pray for wisdom too. More wisdom and grace on you.

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    Replies
    1. Amen. Thanks for your prayers and your continuous engagements on this web

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