Daily Reflection
January 17th, 2002
Joan Lanahan
Nursing School Chaplain
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Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbot

1 Samuel 4:1-11
Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 25-26
Mark 1:40-45


Good grief: the Israelites prayed and not only lost the battle to the Philistines.  They lost the Ark of the Covenant, the "Ark of God."

The leper prays to be healed, "if you will to do so, you can heal me" and Jesus heals him. 

What do these two scriptures tell us about prayer?  Is it that God only hears some prayers?  Is it that some prayers are more powerful than others?

No, No.  These scriptures tell us to keep praying.  Keep asking God for help.  We are dependent on God.  God likes to hear from us.

I remember when my Father, then my Mother, were very sick, I was praying for God to take each to heaven.  Their suffering was awful for all of our family.  God eventually answered my prayers, but it took a year for Pops and six years for Mops.  God moves in God's time, not ours.

Probably the answer to the original question: does God hear our prayers, is Yes.  God hears us.  Perhaps God does not choose to answer as we ask.  Perhaps there is something that we cannot see that is much better for us or for the person for whom we pray.  Perhaps our timing is off.

Perhaps a better prayer than one so specific, like "Take Mops or Pops to heaven NOW please", is "give them what is for their good.  Perhaps praying for the GOODNESS of whomever or whatever is most important.

Trust that God hears us and will give us an answer sometime...and look for the lesson in the ache of the need we pray to be healed.

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