25 June, Friday — If You Want To

Friday of Week 12 in Ordinary Time

Gen 17:1,9-10,15-22
Mt 8:1-4

If you want to, you can cure me.” 

There’s something so humbling in the way the leper asks for help. By simply adding, “if you want to” or “if you are willing”, it is an act of surrender in itself.

I find this sentence such a beautiful lesson on how we should put out our prayers and petitions. What often happens when we start to pray is that we will just jump straight in to pouring out our woes and complaints, then asking Jesus to please hear and answer our prayers. After a while, we start to wonder, why is it that I have been praying and praying and yet God has not answered my prayers? I wonder why.

So let us look at the way we ask him. Where is this prayer of hope coming from? Is it from a heart that’s been trying so hard yet to no avail, that’s beyond all human help, that’s already given up? Some may even throw in a condition or, dare I say, strike a bargain, “Dear God, if you …. I will …” Do we ask with the great big fat hope that he will perform a miracle and answer our prayer? Surely there’s nothing wrong with hoping. But did we forget who we are talking to (even if Jesus is a friend)? We should always remember to end our prayer with “if it’s your will” or “in accordance with your will”.    

Those few simple words of “if you want to”, is so rich in life’s lesson itself. It lies in the way we talk to people (not just to God), and in how we view ourselves and others. Do we give the other party the due respect, especially when we’re asking for help? When asking our colleague to help us with a task, do we add in saying, “only if you have the time” or “when you can”? The best approach to praying or speaking to God is to be as humble as a nobody, to be so sorry for ourselves so much so that he will take pity on us. For we’ve seen how compassionate Jesus is, especially to the sick and the lowly. Only when we can come to God on bended knees or at our lowliest, without any expectations, then will God surprise us with, “Of course I want to!”    

(Today’s OXYGEN by Cynthia Chew)

Prayer: Dear Abba Father, please heal all the wounded — whether physically or in spirit — and if you are willing, please lay your healing hands on all who are stricken by an incurable illness to offer them the comfort and peace they need.     

Thanksgiving: Thank you merciful Lord, for your compassion and love for us.

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