Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives; whoever seeks, finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened. Would any of you give a stone to your son, when he asks for bread? Or give him a snake, when he asks for a fish? However bad you may be, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
So, do to others whatever you would that others do to you: there you have the Law and the Prophets.
A middle-aged woman commented to me that she had stopped praying because God never gave her what she had been asking for and that perhaps there was no God after all. She asked God to make her rich so that she could live a more comfortable life and would be able to help other people. She had not realized that her asking and seeking were centered on herself, her wants and desires; there was nothing in her understanding of prayer that would indicate her interest in establishing an ongoing relationship with God. God to her was someone who “should” fulfill her petitions no matter how self-serving they are. She allowed discouragement and frustration to set in and could not persevere. This is one of the tragedies in the church: people are less inclined to persevere in prayer. How can one ask, seek, and knock in prayer if their image of God is someone not present and involved in their daily lives, someone distant and unreachable? Today’s passage deals basically with the effectiveness of prayer. That is, that God does actually hear and answer prayer, but not according to our expectations. God desires first to enter into a relationship with us.
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