Ask, seek, knock

Jesus’ life was steeped in prayer. He often withdrew from the crowds and even the disciples in order to pray. As a rabbi, he would have led his band of followers in regular prayers throughout the day – morning, noon and night.

One day, as he finished a time of prayer, the disciples came to him and asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They wanted their lives to be steeped in and shaped by the prayer life of their teacher. And he gave to them what we now call The Lord’s Prayer. It became for them a daily prayer and a model for all their own prayers.

After giving them this precious gift, he taught them to be persistent in prayer, to continue to ask, seek and knock. He promised that those who ask will be answered, those who seek will find, and those who knock will be welcomed in. Do good fathers refuse their children the good things they need for life? Do they give evil gifts instead of good? Never! So it is when praying to our Father in heaven:

“If you, 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!” – Luke 11:13

I find it interesting that when Jesus is asked about prayer, he not only gives his followers a model prayer, he also offers the Holy Spirit, who “intercedes with groanings too deep for words” when we do not know how to pray as we ought (Romans 8:26). Our Father knows what we need and he wants to give us good gifts. Actually, he truly wants to give us the best gift: his own presence through the Holy Spirit. All we need to do is ask.

In the second chapter of the book of Acts, we read how God poured out his Spirit on the disciples in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. In reality, Pentecost can’t be contained to just one day. It is not just one day, 2,000 years ago. It is not even just one day on the calendar each year. Our Lord taught us to ask the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit. He told us to be persistent. He told us to trust that our heavenly Father is good and answers the prayers of his children. God has poured out his Holy Spirit on his people and he keeps pouring the Spirit out as we ask, seek and knock.

 

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