Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened
We spend a good part of our lives asking for things from other people who have more, or who have more knowledge than we do. We ask because we are needy people. And it is often the only way we can relate to others. If we never ask for anything, we would end up in a kind of emptiness and false and impoverished self-sufficiency. Asking and giving; that is the major part of our life and of our being. By asking we recognize that we are in need. In giving we can become aware of the endless richness that God has placed in our hearts.
It is the same with God. A large part of our relationship with Him is defined by asking; the rest by thanking. In asking we manifest our radical insufficiency. Asking makes us humble; moreover, we give our God the opportunity to show Himself as Father. Thus we know God's love for us. For who is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone... How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?
We do not ask selfishly, nor full of pride, nor greedily, nor out of envy. If our request is, for example, help in some exams, a material favor, healing from an illness, etc., we must examine in the presence of God the true motives of that request. We will ask Him in the intimacy of our soul if what we have requested will help us to love Him more and to fulfill His Will better. In many occasions we will realize immediately the little importance of that matter that seemed to us of life or death, and we will realize that what we desperately wished for was not so important. We will know how to straighten our will with the Will of God and, then, our petition will be much better directed.
We can ask the Lord to heal us soon from an illness; but we must also ask together that, if this does not happen because his plans are other - mysterious plans unknown to us, but which come from a Father - he will then grant us the necessary grace to bear these pains with patience, and the wisdom to draw from this illness great fruits that will benefit our soul and the whole Church.
The first condition of every effective petition is to first conform our will to the Will of God, who at times wills or permits things and events that we neither want nor understand, but which will end up being of great benefit to us and to others. Every time we make this act of identifying our will with God's will, we have taken a very important step in the virtue of humility.
There are innumerable goods that the Lord is waiting for us to ask for, so that they may be granted to us. Spiritual and material goods; all ordered to our salvation and that of our neighbor. "Will you not agree with me that, if we do not obtain what we ask of God, it is because we do not pray with faith, with a pure enough heart, with a great enough trust, or because we do not persevere in prayer as we should? God has never denied and will never deny anything to those who ask him for his graces properly."