Ask and you'll get; Seek and you'll find; Knock and the door will open. Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.
-Luke 11:9-10 (The Message)
This verse may be a familiar one to you. I read it this morning as it was the passage chosen for today on my desk calendar. These words were a helpful way for me to reflect on prayer and how I talk with God. Can you think of a time in your life when your conversations with God came from the perspective of making a bargain? Were there other times in your life when your conversations have been more direct? What parts of your circumstances influence the way you interact with God in your prayers?
I can imagine that each of us experience seasons in life that are challenging and raise significant questions about God's role in our lives. Even when we are direct in our prayers and ask for what we need, there are still times when we are surprised by the outcome of a particular life situation. I believe this is because God sees the big picture that we just can't see. God guides us and provides us with what we need when we need it, but that doesn't mean it matches up with what we think is needed.
I can look back on many situations in life and see how God's love is woven through those experiences. There were times in the midst of those situations where it was very challenging to see that same love, but now I can.
I would invite you to take to heart these words from the gospel of Luke in Jesus' message on how to pray. He gives the words to the Lord's Prayer and follows it with this very direct teaching. May these words of Jesus go with you today and help to guide you in your prayer life.
Prayer for Today
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.