Q: If I pray to remove sickness or pain, am I refusing God? If I am to offer up my pain, how can I pray that it go away? Or if I am to accept (I let go of the (my) desire to change this feeling or sensation) why would I pray to be relieved of the pain? I would like to pray to feel better, I know Jesus cares about our physical afflictions, but I’m confused.
A: As you know prayer is a relationship with our God. Like any relationship there are different aspects, so in prayer, there are prayers expressing sorrow, prayers expressing thanksgiving, adoration and prayers expressing petitions (asking for something). Depending on the circumstances of life these different prayers are used at different times, but they are directed to the same God.
So now let us look at the specifics of your question.
“If I pray to remove sickness or pain, am I refusing God?”
No, you are offering a prayer of petition.
“If I am to offer up my pain, how can I pray that it go away?”
You are joining in the prayer of Jesus in the garden where he asked for the cup to be removed but if it was his Fathers will, let his will be done.
“Or if I am to accept (I let go of the (my) desire to change this feeling or sensation) why would I pray to be relieved of the pain?”
You are dealing with the present situation and are open to all possibilities.
“I would like to pray to feel better, I know Jesus cares about our physical afflictions…”
Jesus does care. He is the answer your prayer by companioning with you on your journey and through the pain.
“… but I’m confused.”
We all are confused when it comes to asking something for ourselves; we are so much better asking God on behalf of someone else. It is important to remember there is not just one type of prayer – one size does not fit all.
So what is the bottom line of our prayer? I believe it is this:
“Lord, send down upon me all the graces and blessings you want for me in this situation. Give me the grace to be able to deal with this as you wish. Amen.” Then step back and see what happens; it is a leap of trust that all will be well.
Love and blessings,
Fr. Carl Arico