Lenten Reflections – February 21, 2013 by Charles Burre

Meditation on the readings for February 21, 2013
Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25; Psalms 138:1-3, 7-8; Matthew 7:7-12

Queen_Esther_2002Today’s

readings focus on prayer. Queen Esther pleads with God for help in confronting a conspiracy against her people. The psalmist overflows with gratitude because “On the day I cried out, you answered.” Jesus promises that our heavenly Father loves us infinitely more than any earthly father could and will fulfill our every need.

How

do we pray and what do we expect? Do we present God with a shopping list and expect that all items will be delivered or, at least, we will get a few of the important ones? Do we raise the same request over and over and think “God why don’t you hear me?” The image of the door being opened to the one who Knock_pennyknocks reminds me of the TV character, Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon is portrayed as an immature, obsessive-compulsive person so impatient that, when he knocks on a door, he waits less that a fraction of a second and then knocks again, and again, and again frantically calling out the person’s name whom he expects to answer. This is certainly not how God wants us to approach his door.

The

readings on Tuesday of this week also pertained to prayer. The reflection by Kristin Armstrong in daily devotional Living Faith beautifully describe how when we open our hearts in prayer, God opens the door. She writes:

“When

we talk things over with him in prayer, the Holy Spirit enlightens us in the conversation. As our layers peel back, our vulnerability is exposed. The light of the divine filters in, and we begin to see that perhaps we are asking for the wrong things. Gently, through relationship, God aligns our hearts with his purposes, and our prayers become echoes in the hallways of heaven.”

This

captures so well my own experience in prayer. In those times in which I have been in greatest anguish over some problem, I have come before the Lord in prayer knowing that he is aware of my distress. I don’t propose my solutions to the problem or ask God to grant my wishes. Rather, I just allow God to guide my thoughts and give me confidence in the steps that I must take to resolve the problem. Sometimes it just involves the “serenity to know the things I cannot change.”

images
I

believe that God takes his time at answering the knock at the door so that we can think over what we really want to ask of the Master when we come into his presence.

The

person sharing this reflection is a member of the Hosanna Prayer Group, which meets each Thursday at a few minutes after 7:30 PM in one of the classrooms, here at St. Edward the Confessor.

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