In John 16:23b-24, "...Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete." Jesus said this when he was on Earth. What a wonderful gift of Grace!
This is about "Intercession" -- When we ask anything of the Father, in the Name of Jesus, we are asking for this favor in union with Jesus. And, in 1 John 5:14-15, "And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him."
Why "boldness?" Well, not everyone knows Jesus so well that he feels he can just ask Jesus in complete trust to beseech the Father for something we want either for ourselves or for another person. Most of us were brought up with the idea that Jesus was to be feared, respected, and that His Name was Sacred. That is all true but Jesus is also an immensely generous God, someone eager to help us, and so we need but ask.
Prayer has four characteristics: praise, petition, gratitude, and, reparation. When I make a Holy Hour, I try to give each of these characteristics about 15 minutes. United with Jesus, we praise the Father. Without Jesus' help and participation, our prayer to the Father would be inadequate at best. Even if, most assuredly, in this unity of Jesus, He is 99.9% and I'm just participating 0.1% - but inadequate as our prayer is in view of His perfection, we must keep trying. We try by curtailing and rejecting sin, and by loving Jesus and this is our sole requirement.
When we petition Jesus, we ask what we need, and no more -- and we ask favors for our friends and neighbors, world peace and some joy. We unite our hearts and minds and voices for what is needed.
Gratitude - we have so much to be thankful for. No matter how difficult life is, we are vastly better of than most people on other continents. We are thankful for our health and for the roof over our heads, and something to eat.
Reparation - that's a serious subject. First we make reparation for the offences against the Blessed Sacrament, then we atone for our own shortcomings. By voluntary submission to His Passion and Death on the Cross, Jesus Christ atoned for our disobedience and sin. He thus made reparation to the offended majesty of God for the outrages which the Creator so constantly suffers at the hands of His creatures.
After all that - what do we do next? We LISTEN. We are Silent - We wait for the Lord to direct our ways and we persevere. Then, as in 1 Thes. 5:15-18, we should, "Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
God bless you!
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
All Scripture RSV.