Prayer: Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega. His are all times and all ages; to him be glory and dominion through all the ages of eternity. By his holy and glorious wounds, may Christ our Lord guard us and keep us. May the light of Christ, rising in glory, scatter the darkness of our heart and mind. #656 Oxford Book of Prayer.
Read St. Luke 11: 10 – 13
These next verses are Jesus’ continuation on prayer. Do not bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. Every once in a while the TV has a reflection on Christianity that surprises us. In the Simpsons TV show, there is one episode were little Bart Simpson has not completed his school homework. In desperation, Bart introduces himself to God and then asks that God may provide him with a snow day so that he can get his homework completed. The next day, Bart wakes up to find that it is indeed a snow day. School has been cancelled. But instead of doing his homework, Bart runs outside to play. It is only at night as Bart is going to bed that his younger sister Lisa says to him, “Bart, don’t you have something to do? Didn’t I hear you last night ask God to make it snow so you could get your homework completed?”
This is exactly what Jesus is saying to the disciples…. do not bargain with God. Ask God directly for only what you need. We must come to God in prayer first. It is only as we come to God in prayer can we ask God for what we need. Not what you want but for what you need. Each of our prayers to God must include the words “but not my will but Your will be done O Lord”.
Jesus continues to teach that even an earthly father will give to his child what the child needs. How much more will God provide for our needs. Some people think prayer is an immediate response (rather like Bart Simpson and his snow day). Some people get frustrated and say God is not listening to them when their prayer requests remain unanswered. Remember that God hears all our prayers. God is with us and within us loving us no matter what we do or say.
Frequently the things we pray about that we think we need are really just wants. For instance: I want a job, I want better pay, I want that nice red shiny truck, I want to preach like the best preacher in the world, I want money to pay off my mortgage, I want to be healed from my sickness, I want more people to attend Church. But these are all “wants”. Jesus taught that God would answer our prayers for what we need.
Today reflect upon these sentences. Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open.
Prayer: Christ is risen from the dead; trampling down death by death; and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. Though thou didst go down into the grave, O Immortal One, yet thou didst put down the power of hades and didst rise a conqueror, O Christ our God; thou spakest clearly to the myrrh-bearing women, Rejoice; thou didst bestow peace upon thine apostles, and to the fallen hast thou brought resurrection. #658 Oxford Book of Prayer.