Some people approach prayer like it’s a scientific formula that should work upon request like an old dog who has learned new tricks. I had one woman tell me, “That priest you recommended come to my house, he came, blessed it, but you know things are still going bad for us, we don’t think it worked.” See? They want someone to come over, bless their house, deliver them from their problems and everything will be a bed of roses. But they won’t engage in the biggest prayer of all. . . getting to know Christ by transforming themselves.
The reason why their lives are such a mess and prayers go unanswered is because they are a mess. Do you go to Church every Sunday? No. Do you pray every day or at least think about God? No. Do you go to confession once a week or month? No. But you want God to answer your prayer? Yes.
You would think that all of this would be self explanatory, but believe me, some people need it to be spelled out for them. There is nothing worse than a spiritual leech. “The leech has two daughters: “Give, give!” their cry”(Proverbs:30:15). We want God to “Give, give” without ever having to give back in return. Have you ever had a friend whom you’ve pretty much given the shirt off your back for years? One day you’re really in need, and that person simply says, “Sorry I’ve nothing to give” even though you’re privy to information that they’ve come into a big lotto win? How bad would that be?
Here we have a similar situation. God has already given you life and the gift of eternal salvation. Daily you ask him for things, treating him only as some magic genie in the bottle that will solve all of your problems, yet never give him anything in return? There you go!!! Never darkened a church in years, suddenly come running rubbing your rosary like there’s a genie in there going to solve your problem. How some people cannot see how foolish that kind of behaviour is, but I must accept we all have our weaknesses.
Imagine, if you will, someone whom you’ve never met in your entire life, approach you for a loan of 10,000 U.S dollars. What would your response be? Of course you’d say no, you’ve no relationship with that person. A level of trust and understanding has never been developed. Yet, you never darken the door of a Church. You never pray, nor engage with Jesus on a personal level and you expect Him to deliver you from all of your problems? Jesus is like, “Huh, who is this? Do I know this person?”
Yes, God is known to answer the prayers even of pagans, we see that in the Gospel, because they had an expectant faith which was rewarded by Jesus. And here’s the difference, after their prayer was answered they changed their lives around. The biggest prayer and act of faith you can give him is to clean up yourself, and develop an actual relationship with him.
To give him the gift of yourself and then see a change in your life. Some people expect priests to come bless their house and change their life circumstances, and when it doesn’t work, fail to see it’s because their relationship with God is upside down. However, we don’t change the world by moving around the furniture. We change the world by changing ourselves and how we look at the room we are standing in.
Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.Luke 6:38