July 24, 2022: “Seek ye First”
Updated: Jul 24, 2022
Seek ye first the kingdom of God And His righteousness; And all these things shall be added unto you. Hallelu, Hallelujah! 2
Ask, and it shall be given unto you; Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Hallelu, Hallelujah!
Growing up this was one of my favourite hymns. It brought me comfort, confidence and reassurance - and it is very singable!
In today’s Gospel we read Luke’s version of the “Lord’s Prayer”. It is very different from Matthew’s and can probably be traced to a different synagogue liturgical tradition. And only Luke follows it up with the 2 parables.
But the story starts the same way - the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. And he does. He gives them the template but he also teaches them HOW to pray - or how to approach prayer.
Persistence in prayer is encouraged by Jesus.
How do I pray. The disciples asked Jesus and we have been asking ever since!
The prayer that Jesus taught is refreshing - its a very humankind of prayer. It is a prayer for human beings - creatures that are in need.
There is no “please” in this prayer. This prayer is not meek, contrived or a merely “religious” act.
Jesus tells the disciples to ask, search,knock. For everyone who asks receives and everyone who searches finds and for everyone who knocks the door will be open.
Ask, really ask and keep on asking…..this is Jesus’ message.
How do we approach God in our lives through faith and prayer. Jesus would tell us with both humility and boldness. Jesus taught the disciples not only the correct words but a right way to approach God.
Jesus encourages his followers to courageously ask for what they need, not holding back, not deciding ahead of time for God what God can or will do.
Ask, really ask and keep on asking….
Prayer is conversation. Sometimes it’s only one word. HELP. Sometimes it’sTHANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Sometimes it is only the sigh too deep for words. How do you pray. Who taught you to pray. What do you pray for. Think about these questions for a little while. And then think about your prayer life and where it has taken you.
In our reading Jesus acknowledges the silence that all who pray have met.That is why Luke includes the parable of the friend trying to wake up his friend to get some bread! But he did not want his followers to take that silence as rejection. ASK, SEARCH, KNOCK.
Persistence is Jesus’ message. Jesus wanted his followers to be in relationship with God - and that meant conversation and conversation begins with word.
The Lord’s prayer is THE Christian prayer. No matter how else we pray this is the one we come back to in worship and in our private prayers. It’s the one that people remember when they have forgotten almost everything else.