‘Ask and it will be given to you, search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.’
This is such good news from Jesus in the Gospel of Luke!
But how often do we ask for what we really want?
Yes, we pray for others, we pray for peace, we pray for healing, and for the end of suffering. These are good things. But do we ask for our heart’s desires? Do we ask for good things for ourselves?
Does that seem selfish or like something we shouldn’t do?
Is it hard to trust that God will give us what we ask, because we see all around us people who ask for things and don’t get them? Maybe we’ve experienced this ourselves.
If we look around, though, we’ll see that it’s also true that prayers are answered, miracles do happen, good things – trivial and important – happen to others, and to us. Does this mean God likes some people better than others? That God says ‘no’? That we’ve somehow asked wrong or asked for too much?
I don’t think so. I think every prayer answered is a sign of God’s Kingdom breaking into our world – and it’s a promise that God is in the midst of answering all our prayers – in the midst of giving us all our hearts’ desires. Even beyond the grave.
That’s our faith – that even death won’t separate us from God – or God’s promises of peace, love, forgiveness, and reconciliation for us all.
God wants us to ask. It’s such Good News.
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, `Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
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