THE WEEK OF EPIPHANY III – FRIDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 6:5-15
Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. Matthew 8:2
This modest prayer of the leper must not be understood as an expression of doubt in Christ’s goodness and grace. For such a faith would be quite worthless, even if he did believe that Christ was almighty and able to do all things in His omniscience. A living faith which does not doubt also believes that God is good and that He has the gracious will to perform what we pray for. Faith never doubts that God in His good will is always favorably inclined towards us, that His intentions and purposes for us are always good.
We do not always know, however, whether our welfare will really be promoted by what we ask in our prayers. God alone knows this. The prayer of faith leaves everything to God’s gracious will, requesting that He grant our petition if it will serve His honor and our real need. The prayer of faith never doubts that God will hear our prayer. If God does not answer the prayer, faith believes that God did not answer because of His grace towards us, and because He deemed it better for us to leave the prayer unanswered.
In all this, our faith in God’s good and gracious will remains sure and steadfast, whether He answers our prayer or not. Paul reminds us of this when he says that we know not what or how we should pray (Romans 8:26). Likewise, we pray in the Lord’s Prayer for His will to be done.
PRAYER: Bestow your grace upon us, O Lord, that we always have the confidence to bring all our needs before you in prayer and supplication and, at the same time, have the assurance that you will hear and answer our prayer according to your will. Amen.