What do I ask when I pray?

What man ... if his son ask bread,
will he give him a stone?

(Matthew 7:9)

At first I prayed for comfort from pain and fear,
and afterward, when I was disappointed and felt let down,
I asked God why? How had I failed?
(I knew my Father would never let me down,
never give me a stone, if I prayed aright.)

And then He reminded me, "... if his son ask bread...."

So, when next I prayed,
I asked the Father for bread, not ease:
the bread of understanding His nature
that I might witness man unfallen, undisturbed, unimpressed,
secure in his Father's house—changeless, sinless, free.

This bread filled me to overflowing
with gratitude—
and the comfort I needed came, too.

Faith Walsh Heidtbrink

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The liberator and the despot
March 2, 1987

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