Asking God Questions, Getting Answers from Providence and Grace

I don’t know how many other Christians do this, but it works for me. Ask God a question. It should be fairly-worded, and not biased toward the answer you would prefer. Pray the Rosary and/or the Divine Mercy Chaplet, asking God to answer you through providence and grace. Then, as you go through your day, remain alert for an answer by providence, interpreted by you through grace, faith, and reason. Sometimes it takes a few days. Sometimes you don’t get an answer; in which case, ask a different question.

You can ask very specific questions and get an answer. It is also a good idea, from time to time, to ask broad questions, such as “What is your will for me?” or “What should I do differently in my life?”

Be careful not to fall into the trap of imagining that God is confirming your own ideas and preferences. We are all fallen sinners, so we all have the tendency to think that our own understanding or goals are perhaps better than they are in God’s eyes. If God is telling you to keep doing what you are doing, and not to make any changes, and He really seems to have no criticisms or suggestions for improvement, then you are not doing this correctly. That would be just your own selfishness, not the providence and grace of God.

If it is not working for you, try to be more alert to hints from God in events that happen as you go through your day. If it still does not work, then add self-denial to prayer. And make certain that you regularly examine your conscience and go to Confession and Communion.

Be advised that it is easy to misinterpret what God is saying through providence and grace. So do not make any major decisions on this basis, and do not do anything risky. And you must ALWAYS put the teachings of the Church on faith, morals, and salvation, and anything clear to reason, above that God seems to be saying in this way.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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4 Responses to Asking God Questions, Getting Answers from Providence and Grace

  1. Mark P. says:

    I can attest to receiving encouraging signs while praying or saying the rosary. It is important to follow Ron’s points above, to be in a state of grace, sincere in prayer, and patient. The signs showed up in unexpected places but when they occurred it was immediately evident to me that they were the result of prayer.

  2. Max says:

    Isn’t that what the Book of Job is all about?

  3. Tom Mazanec says:

    I just try to do the best I can. Although I see God in how things seem to work out for the best, I am too leery of mistaking God’s Will by this method.

  4. Matt Z. says:

    Another way to do this is ask God a question before praying one of the hours of the Liturgy of Hours, this was something Fr.Robert Barron suggested in one of his talks. For big questions about vocations and the like, one of the best things to do is an Ignation Spiritual retreat that uses the Spiritual excercises of St.Ignatius of Loyola.

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