“And all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”
God has solemnly promised to hearken to a prayer said with confidence. “All things whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” (Matt. 21:22). “All things whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come to you.” (Mark 11:24). God is displeased with a want of trust on the part of souls who sincerely love Him and whom He loves infinitely. Therefore, if you desire to please His loving Heart, converse with Him in the future with the greatest confidence and tenderness possible.
“I have graven [inscribed] thee in My hands,” says Our Lord by the lips of the prophet Isaias (49:16). Beloved soul, He meant to say: “What dost thou fear or mistrust? I have written thee in My hands so as never to forget to do thee good.”
Whoever prays with faith and confidence may look for success in his cause. Our Lord often revealed to St. Gertrude the delight He takes in a confiding soul, and once said, “A person who prays to Me with full confidence does obedience to Me, so that I must grant him whatsoever he requests.”
Another time, after having prayed fervently for a certain intention, St. Gertrude asked, “O Lord, what shall I add to these prayers to make them yet more efficacious?” Jesus, turning to her with a countenance full of sweetness, replied, “Confidence alone easily obtains all things!” Confidence was the characteristic feature of St. Gertrude’s life, and she was accustomed to say, “All that I have received I owe to my confidence in the gratuitous bounty of my God.” The following is another of her revelations, showing how agreeable to Jesus was this confidence.
“Although I regard with pleasure,” said Our Lord, “all that is done for My glory, such as prayers, fasts, vigils, and other like works of piety, still the confidence with which the elect have recourse to Me in their weakness touches Me far more sensibly.”
This same truth our Saviour likewise impressed upon St. Mechtilde: “According to the measure of faith and firm hope with which one expects to receive from My goodness and mercy, so much and infinitely more will be given to him; for it is impossible for Me to refuse to man that which with steadfast faith he believes and expects.” What consoling words!
Encouraging also is the comment of St. Bernard: “Our confidence determines the measure of the graces that we receive from God. If our confidence is great, we will obtain great graces, for Divine grace is an inexhaustible fountain: whosoever carries thither the vessel of confidence will draw therefrom a great quantity of riches.”
St. Augustine says, “How can we fear that our petitions will remain unanswered when Eternal Truth Itself has promised to hear him who asks?” And St. Thomas Aquinas states: “Our confidence in prayer must not support itself on our own merits, but on the mercy of God and the merits of Jesus Christ.” According to this same holy Doctor, it is the confidence and not the sanctity of him who prays that imparts to prayer its efficacy.
This article is taken from a chapter in Prayer: The Great Means of Grace which is available from TAN Books.