1 John 3:22 "anything we ask?"


#1

"...and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him."

Well Ok, I know NOT anything we ask for, but here is a serious question I received from a friend that I didn't quite know how to answer. First a little quick background. My friend has been struggling greatly financially, I won't go into all the details for brevity. Now I know this guy to be a solid person and devout Catholic myself. I was almost brought to tears myself when I last spoke with him earlier today. He quoted the above verse from todays readings and said he's at his wits end as to why God doesn't show him a way out of his current financial mess. He was almost in tears when he told me he has tried so hard to be the best person he can be by trying to live as a devout catholic (trust me when I say it was a tear jerking moment) and living the teachings of the church and Jesus. Yet, as he put it, he asks for a way out yet his troubles go on? I honestly didn't know how to anser him. But in such a context as todays reading how does one answer someone like this obviously sincerely confused by it all?


#2

You can ask for anything which isn't sin


#3

"...and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him."

I struggled with this for a long time. Then it struck me... If we obey his commands, and do what pleases him, we won't be asking for what we shouldn't have. That's very circular, I know.

God is not going to give us anything we ask for in prayer. If He did, He'd be a vending machine (insert prayer & get whatever you want). There's folks that preach that; it's called the "prosperity gospel." It seems to work best for those who preach it, though; not for the poor folks who "cast their bread on the water" by donating to the preachers. :mad:

God will give us anything we ask for that is in His will.

...he's at his wits end as to why God doesn't show him a way out of his current financial mess.

It may be that he's looking in the wrong direction. I have a suggestion for him. (We're going through the same thing; hubby is retiring this month, so we have to cut back deeply.)
Tell him to ask himself... well it's not really a question, just fill in the blank:
"We'd be doing fine if it wasn't for the _____." The answer is where to start cutting. In our case, it was the mortgage payment; we moved to a much smaller house. There's more to do, for us; more things that fill in that blank. For instance, cutting down the grocery bill by starting a garden, then freezing veggies. Buying sides of beef instead of paying grocery store prices. Etc. Etc.

I hope this helps. I'll pray for him, too.


#4

This is conditioned on what we ask for being conducive to our salvation. The Bible also says this: “Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss.” (James 4:3). Our Father will not give us something we ask for if it will not sanctify us.

Like a child, we often are not as far sighted as our Father, and we ask of things that might bring immediate gain or satisfaction, but Our Father knows to grant us such a thing might not aid in our salvation as much as denying us or granting us something different.

Sometimes tribulations are more conducive to our salvation than consolations. It’s okay to pray for consolations, but one should also pray that, if it is God’s will that we suffer tribulation, that He grant us the grace to suffer it in a manner that will sanctify us. God will infallibly grant that grace if we ask for it consistently with faith, just as He will infallibly give us anything we ask for that will help us be saved.

Just to add something from St. Thomas More that he wrote when he had lost everything he had in the world and was about to lose his life:

From his Dialogue of Comfort in a Time of Tribulation (sorry for the weird formatting):

“If we lay first, for a sure ground, a very fast faith, whereby we
believe to be true all that the scripture saith (understood truly,
as the old holy doctors declare it and as the spirit of God
instructeth his Catholic church), then shall we consider
tribulation as a gracious gift of God, a gift that he specially
gave his special friends; a thing that in scripture is highly
commended and praised; a thing of which the contrary, long
continued, is perilous; a thing which, if God send it not, men have
need to put upon themselves and seek by penance; a thing that
helpeth to purge our past sins; a thing that preserveth us from
sins that otherwise would come; a thing that causeth us to set less
by the world; a thing that much diminisheth our pains in purgatory;
a thing that much increaseth our final reward in heaven; the thing
with which all his apostles followed him thither; the thing to
which our Saviour exhorteth all men; the thing without which he
saith we be not his disciples; the thing without which no man can
get to heaven.”


#5

[quote="k5thbeatle, post:1, topic:310684"]
"...and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him."

Well Ok, I know NOT anything we ask for, but here is a serious question I received from a friend that I didn't quite know how to answer. First a little quick background. My friend has been struggling greatly financially, I won't go into all the details for brevity. Now I know this guy to be a solid person and devout Catholic myself. I was almost brought to tears myself when I last spoke with him earlier today. He quoted the above verse from todays readings and said he's at his wits end as to why God doesn't show him a way out of his current financial mess. He was almost in tears when he told me he has tried so hard to be the best person he can be by trying to live as a devout catholic (trust me when I say it was a tear jerking moment) and living the teachings of the church and Jesus. Yet, as he put it, he asks for a way out yet his troubles go on? I honestly didn't know how to anser him. But in such a context as todays reading how does one answer someone like this obviously sincerely confused by it all?

[/quote]

I know how he feels and I've come to realize that no matter what hardships we face and that OUR prayers aren't answered the way we would like, we must never get discouraged, but remain faithful that God is with us and hears us always, His time is not our time, and in time, your friend will get financially better. He may not be "rich" but he will be better off. If God's own Son was poor and homeless (remember He was born in a "barn" and never owned His own home), and it is good enough for Jesus, then it is good enough for us too. Being a devout Catholic does not necessarily mean we attain the riches and wealth of this world, but that we attain the riches and wealth that are forever: Unwaivering faith in God no matter what. Some very devout Christians have been homeless, hungry, ill, etc. and that had no basis on their devoution to God. These hardships are just trials that will hopefully hone our faith in and our love for God just as those trials and terrible hardships Job went through proved to be. Job is such an inspiration!!

In Scripture, we have to take things in context. When we pray, we are to ask "according to God's will"

John 6:40 NRSA
This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."

John 16:23 NRSA
On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

Hebrews 2:4 NRSA
while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.

1 John 5:14 NRSA
And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Philippians 4:19 NRSA
And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

This is my prayer for your friend:

Ephesians 3
16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Blessings of our Lord


#6

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