In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us, " ... whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you." (John 16:20-23, NAB).
Have you ever prayed for something so hard that your heart fairly burst with your need? Have you waited patiently or anguished while you waited for God's answer? And never received that answer?
I heard Mother Angelica tell a caller on her program that the reason the caller wasn't getting an answer to their prayer was because the answer was, "No."
I looked up from my laptop, stopped typing and stared at the television. The realization began to come over me very slowly. The answer to my prayer was, "No."
I sat for a long time and did nothing, but I knew it was true. What I had prayed for, for months, even a couple of years, by that time, was not going to happen. In that time I had become frustrated and angry with God. I felt like I was being punished. It wasn't fair. I still don't know why the answer was no, but I've come to reluctantly accept it.
So why does Jesus say, "Whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you," if He doesn't grant that request? Is there a catch? A disclaimer? Perhaps my will was not fully united with His. Perhaps my reasons were purely selfish.
Like I said, I have accepted it, but I don't have to like it.