This Week’s Ask Alice: “Ask and you will receive.”



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Cathi H writes: What does Jesus mean when he says,
“Ask and you shall receive” when clearly there are a million cases when it doesn’t work out that way? And I’m not referring to selfish prayers, but for things like wisdom, peace, provision for my children’s needs, etc. Thanks!

Alice answers: Jesus wasn’t joking when he said, “Ask and you shall receive.” Our Lord does not make empty promises. He is true to His word. God answers every prayer in His own way, in His own time. When we don’t get what we want quickly, we think God has refused to give us what we ask for in faith. However, God’s prayer clock does not tick according to our time.

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens….He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without men ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11)

Clearly, God’s ways are not our ways. After praying for wisdom, we might become tongue-tied when attempting to counsel a troubled friend. Perhaps, we were called to be a listener, not an adviser, to our friend, and God answered our prayer after all. If we pray for peace in our family, God might ask us to be a peacemaker, who must endure the stress of settling family feuds.

One of my relatives has been angry with God since the death of her husband. she felt that God ignored her prayers for successful surgery. Recently, she was crying that God let him die. Recalling his alcoholism, smoking, emphysema, COPD, acid reflux and type-A personality, I suggested that instead of shortening her husband’s life, maybe God lengthened it, in answer to a prayer whispered long ago.

After they adopted a child, the husband had asked God to let him live to see his daughter celebrate her 21st birthday. That prayer was indeed answered, since their daughter had just turned 21, at the time of his death. My friend had never considered the date of her husband’s death as God’s gift of a longer life.

God’s unique way of answering prayers also involves my precious daughter, who is battling her third relapse of Hodgkins’ Disease. On April 1, she was scheduled to enter the hospital for her 2nd Stem Cell Transplant. Scores of people have been praying that she would need only a mini transplant, instead of a major one, that requires intense amounts of chemotherapy. Her suitcase was packed, and just last Saturday, she received the Sacrament of Anointing.

Last night, the oncologist informed her that a PET scan had revealed a small spot, necessitating the major procedure. Instead of feeling devastated, she was unusually peaceful, calmly asking if there was another way to eradicate the spot. Her oncologist mentioned a new drug that has been extremely successful, so she decided to try it, in the hope that the mini transplant will indeed be possible.

“Leave it to the Lord and wait for him.” (Psalm 37:7)

Our family is very happy with her decision, as we have been praying that she wouldn’t need the 2nd stem cell transplant, or that she would receive the mini transplant, instead. We believe God is answering our prayers for healing … in His way … and in His time.

“That is why I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

 

Doug Lawrence suggests this short, daily affirmation:

God hears my prayers. God will answer my prayers. God is answering my prayers. God has answered my prayers. God will continue to answer my prayers. God will never leave me or forsake me. Amen.


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