Monday of Pentecost 20 – Prayer of the Week

Almighty and everlasting God, You are always more ready to hear than we to pray and always ready to give more than we either desire or deserve. Pour down on us the abundance of Your mercy; forgive us those things of which our conscience is afraid; and give us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask except by the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

We did not come into the conversation looking for much. We had heard that a large donor to our high school was not happy. The executive director and I made our way up to our meeting with him with a certain sense of resignation. At best, we were hoping to salvage something of a relationship with this man. He had been a generous supporter of our school in the past. We did not know what had happened to sour that relationship, but we hoped we could start to repair it.

Our conversation went well. In fact, he really did not have a problem with anything at our school. We had been misinformed. Imagine our surprise, when at the end of our conversation, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a check for $60,000 and handed it to us. I had personally never seen a donation that large in my rather short ministry. For a struggling school which was looking at making difficult decisions about whether to pay faculty on time, it was an incredible blessing. The prayer we pray this week says that God is always more willing to listen than we are to pray, and He is always ready to give more than we desire or deserve. We had come to this conversation with low expectations and were utterly shocked by what happened. We thought we had a relational mountain to climb which was not there. We never expected the gift we received.  Do you ever pray to God hoping for too little? I know I do. I imagine that God is holding some residual anger for my messed-up spiritual life, ready to be done with me. But in fact, God has dealt with all my sins on Jesus’ cross. The resurrection means I can always come to Him and be met by His smile and welcome. He who has everything wants to bless me. I need to learn to ask for it. He is always ready to give me more than I desire or deserve.

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