Grace to you!
Are you wondering if there is any prayer with an automatic positive result? Yes, there is. Not to say that God does not answer every prayer. He does, but some with a "yes" but not yet time; some with a "yes," but I have a better plan; and still others with a "yes" with a positive immediate result.
Would you like to know this prayer that always comes with a divine yes and direct result? It is a prayer for forgiveness of sins. I would use the analogy of the cleansing of the Leper in Mark 1:40-45 and a few other texts in the Bible as proofs.
Leprosy, though a medical health condition, had a symbolic meaning during the time of Jesus. It’s unlike what we know of this disease today. It was symbolic of spiritual impurities and sin. A leper was considered cursed by God because of his or her sins. The Leper must, therefore, repent and confess their sins. Besides, a typical Jew of Jesus' time believed that only God could restore the Leper to health for such indicates forgiveness and freedom from sin. Also, for this declaration of cleansing to be accepted by the people so the Leper could be welcome and re-instated in the community, the priest, must prove that the Leper is cleansed.
So, in the story written in the Gospel of Mark 1:40-45, a Leper was asking to be cleansed. In other words, he was asking to be forgiven and healed. He was appealing to the divinity of Jesus, who has the power to heal. Such a request God does not refuse. As the Book of Psalms 51:17 emphasizes: a humble, contrite heart; that is, a heart that asks for forgiveness of sins, the Lord forgives.
No matter our past, the dark nature of our uncleanness, a simple plea for forgiveness, and healing to the Lord is an absolute yes. God invites us to take him up on this challenge. In the prophecy of Isaiah 1:18, the Lord declares: "Come now, let us reason together. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool" (Is 1:18).
Didn't you realize that, as the Gospel of Luke 23:43 relates, the first person who went to heaven (paradise) was a condemned criminal who was crucified by the right side of Jesus? He received immediate, unconditional forgiveness by merely praying, "Lord, please remember me in your kingdom." You, too, should have this absolute certainty in the mercy of God who forgives and heals when you ask for it.
I witness this incredible mercy all the time at the Confessional. It is that place where the Catholic priest announces to a sinner God's healing words of compassion and forgiveness. "I absolve you from your sins; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen"
Go for it.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday, Week 1 in Ordinary Time: 1 Sm 4:1-11; MK 1:40-45]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.