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March 22, 2021

“For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:10

This song calls to mind multiple Bible camp songs, at least for me. Clearly, there is a desire to teach young children the value and the power of prayer. As children grow up, however, the concept of prayer becomes a little more slippery. All I need to do is ask, seek, knock and God will open the door? What about the times I’ve desperately asked but gotten no answer? Looked without finding? Found nothing but a series of doors not only closed but seemingly locked?

It’s tempting to dismiss prayer altogether as something without efficacy. Or, perhaps the problem is with the pray-er. If you were doing it better, it would work!

Neither of these answers satisfies. Today’s verse from the Daily Texts needs context. It follows the giving of the Lord’s Prayer, the template for the Christian prayer life. In both the Lord’s Prayer and the teaching that follows, Jesus locates prayer within a parent-child relationship. We don’t simply pray to a deity with a prayer-fulfillment department. We pray to a loving Heavenly Father. Our prayer life occurs within the love of a God who wants the best for us. I have enough earthly perspective as a parent to know that sometimes my kids ask for things that aren’t good for them or that I’m simply not going to give them for reasons of my own. This never means that I don’t love my children. If this is true for imperfect earthly parents, how much more is it true for God!

As this section concludes, Jesus speaks of how we can be certain of what God is promising: the Holy Spirit. We will not always get what we want. We won’t always get the car or the job of the big house. And I think we’re fine with that. We also won’t always get the diagnosis we want, or the healing we seek, or the open door to a reconciled relationship. We won’t always know why we won’t get these things. But we do receive God’s Spirit, and in the Spirit there is always hope, peace, and life. In this world and the next.

I don’t think we need to adopt a cynical posture as we grow old. Keep praying! Ask, seek, knock. The Heavenly Father is listening. The Holy Spirit is given. Jesus is crucified and risen. In this community of love, God will always, always, make sure we have what we need.

Our church doors have been closed more than we’d like this past year, but God’s doors remain wide open. As a parent delights in a child, so does God delight in you!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Loving God, you know what we need. Open the doors to your grace once more today. Help us to bless others by being answers to their prayers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Grace doors. Photo by me.

From → COVID-19

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