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The Tenth Sunday after Trinity
excerpt from
COMMON PRAYER: A Commentary on the Prayer Book Lectionary
Volume 4: Trinity Sunday to the Twelfth Sunday After Trinity (p. 146-147)
St. Peter Publications Inc. Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Reprinted with permission of the publisher.
Let thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In the Collect today we learn about prayer. We ask God, first that he may hear our prayers, and secondly, that we may ask for such things as shall please him. But what can be the comfort in a God who answers prayer only when the right prayers are offered? Let us try to understand that it is only a God who answers prayer in just this fashion that can be a true comfort to us.

We begin the Collect by asking the merciful Lord to hear his humble servants. He is merciful, and in our humility we must submit our lives to his eternal and loving care. Faith is the initial requirement for prayer because we must truly believe that God is merciful. Until we are convinced that our God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving, and that he desires our salvation, we can have no true prayer. In his infinite wisdom God knows what is best for the good of our souls far beyond what we may think is beneficial for us. We must remember that his love for us is infinitely more pure and perfect than even our love for ourselves. To his love we may safely entrust our lives ó soul and body ó and the lives of our loved ones.

God knows what is best for our eternal good even though the working out of our salvation may involve long periods of seemingly unanswered prayer. Our human standpoint is entirely limited and narrow in comparison with Godís eternal providence. Todayís Collect teaches us that true prayer stems from a trust and a faith in Godís mercy and love. No earthly or spiritual trouble can cause us to doubt the power of prayer if we believe in his saving love for us.

Finally, when we ask that God may make us to ask such things as shall please him, we are asking for spiritual sight and discernment to understand truly what is best for our souls and bodies. We pray that God may draw our hearts towards him in love. Then, as a loving child who has come to see that his Heavenly Father knows what will make him eternally happy, we may gladly surrender our will to our Loving Father and desire only to ask such things as will please him. In Jesus Christ we have been shown beyond doubt that what pleases God is our happiness and salvation. Pray that we may come to see more clearly that pleasing God is our only happiness.