Acts 18.23-28; Psalm 46; John 16.23-28
The days between Ascension Day and Pentecost have traditionally been a time of intense prayer, following the example of the disciples and friends of Jesus, including Mary his mother. [Acts 1.14] Indeed the novena was originally the name for those nine days of prayer and expectation.
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name,” Jesus remarked to his disciples, just minutes before he would be arrested and they scattered in confusion. “Ask, and you will receive.”
Our prayers must be in accord with God’s will. [cf Matthew 26.42] In fact we will find that when by prayer we have been perfectly united with him it is his Holy Spirit who will pray for us [Romans 8.26-27] and those prayers will be answered in ways past our ability to ask or to imagine. [Ephesians 3.20] It is his will to give us all that is good. [Romans 8.32] Our first prayer must then be that he will make us know ourselves not merely in virtue but in fact to be his children [I John 3.2]—not orphans! [John 14.18]—so that whatever we receive we will recognise as the benefaction of a loving Father. [Luke 11.9-13]