Asking and Not Receiving

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.


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  • Like a little child asking if it would be okay to stick a pair of scissors in a light socket, and the parent saying a firm, "No!" no matter how much the little child wants to do so, God sometimes tells us, "No!" for our own good. Any time God answers our prayers, be it a "Yes" or a "No," it is for our own good. He sees the future as we see the present moment. So, He ultimately knows what is best for us.

    But I'll bet you a dollar to a donut hole you knew this already. :)

  • In reply to Augustin58:

    Well ... not really. In this instance, I thought it was a given, but I've accepted it. My daughter told me to add it to my list of questions to ask God when the time comes! It's a long list!

  • In reply to siblingless:

    Well, when the time comes, you won't think the list is so long, because you'll have forever to ask the questions. :) My money says you won't need to ask the questions, because when we die and go to heaven, we are no longer encumbered by having to think about God through created means. We'll have a full view of Him, and that alone will answer all questions. I can't wait. (Well, I guess I can, because I have to.) God bless!

  • In reply to Augustin58:

    LOL I think I can wait! Thanks for the comments!

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