Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Importance of Asking God Questions in Prayer and of Receiving Answers

I don’t know how many others do this, but this should be done by everyone who desires to advance and know God better in their life. Ask God an important question for your life, or for solutions to some trouble you have. Pray the Rosary, asking God to answer you through divine enlightenment, providence and grace. Then, as you go through your day, remain alert for an answer by providence, interpreted by you through grace, faith, and reason. Sometimes it takes a few days. Sometimes you don’t get an answer; in which case, ask a different question.

You can ask very specific questions and get an answer. It is also a good idea, from time to time, to ask broad questions, such as “What is your will for me?” or “What should I do differently in my life?

Be careful not to fall into the trap of imagining that God is confirming your own ideas and preferences. We are all fallen sinners, so we all have the tendency to think that our own understanding or goals are perhaps better than they are in God’s eyes. If God is telling you to keep doing what you are doing, and not to make any changes, and He really seems to have no criticisms or suggestions for improvement, then you are not doing this correctly. That would be just your own selfishness, not the providence and grace of God.

If it is not working for you, try to be more alert to hints from God in events that happen as you go through your day. If it still does not work, then add self-denial to prayer. And make certain that you regularly examine your conscience and go to Confession and Communion, if this is possible.

Be advised that it is easy to misinterpret what God is saying through enlightenment, providence and grace. So do not make any major decisions on this basis, and do not do anything risky. It is also always advisable to have someone to consult in spiritual matters, such as a spiritual guide. And you must ALWAYS put the teachings of the Church on faith, morals, and salvation, and anything clear to reason, above that God seems to be saying in this way.

It is important to follow the points above, to be in a state of grace (or at least, to desire betterment), sincere in prayer, and patient. The signs may show up in unexpected places but when they occur it will immediately be evident that they are the result of prayer.

Another way to do this is ask God a question before praying one of the hours of the Liturgy of Hours (or before any prayer). For big questions about vocations and the like, one of the best things to do is an Ignatian Spiritual retreat that uses the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Prayer for God's Providence

Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Most Precious Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Adorable Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Admirable Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Loving Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Most Holy Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Sanctifying Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Treasured Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Testing Providence of God, have mercy on me!
Penetrating Providence of God, have mercy on me!

Providence of God, You have provided for me, have mercy on me!

Providence of God, You will provide for me, have mercy on me!

Prayer for My Vocation in Life

Behold me at thy feet, O Virgin most kind, seeking to obtain through thee, the most important grace of knowing what I ought to do. I desire nothing but to comply perfectly with the Will of thy Divine Son at every moment of my life. Mother of Good Counsel, let me hear thy voice. It will dispel every doubt that troubles my mind.

I trust in thee, being confident that, since thou art the Mother of my Redeemer, thou wilt also be the Mother of my salvation. If thou, O Mary, wilt not send me a ray of the Divine Sun, what light will enlighten me? Who will direct me if thou refusest, who art the Mother of the uncreated Wisdom!

Listen, then, to my humble prayers. Let me not be lost in my uncertainty and instability; lead me along the straight road that ends in life everlasting, Thou, who art my only hope, and whose hands are full of the riches of virtue and of life, and who dispensest the fruits of honor and holiness. Amen.

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