Lectio Divina: 2022-07-22

One

My words today were:

Ask, Search, Knock…

I know very few long prayers by heart.

I don’t think that by including more words, however beautiful they may be, it makes the prayer more perfect. The Lord’s Prayer in the five petitions in Luke or the seven in Mathew, is the best example of simplicity and perfection.

Long, long ago I had a very bad experience with a very prominent Catholic Movement. They wanted me to become a numerary member without explaining me to what I would be committing to. The most I got from them was that I had to pray X number of prayers, X number of times a day. The very young and very naive me, could not understand the value of repeating like a parrot words, as edifying as they may be, if they were not coming from the heart.

I do not believe God needs us pestering to act. Why then the Ask, Search, Knock?
Rather than from having a deaf god, or a narcissistic one, God has no need of us, nor of our prayers.

To me these words of Jesus are just to reassure us that God is an approachable, benevolent Father, always attentive to our needs, to whom we can always turn in any moment for anything.

This passage is very reassuring, it is the honest invitation of a good friend who tells me, if you need anything, please let me know; you can count on me. It is an invitation to put, in all circumstances, all my trust in God.

And because I know God loves us all, I can place, as well with confidence, all those I know in need into His Almighty safe hands.

Many thanks dear loving God for this invitation to knock, search and ask You for all we need; to talk to You; to encounter You in prayer.

God bless you all immensely.

Two

“Ask and you will receive…”

Jesus asks us to pray, He wants us to pray. I have had many prayers answered in my life and I ask Jesus to help me in everything I do. A lot of the time I am asking for things for other people i.e. for good health, for an end to problems, for many things that will help their lives. I find it hard to ask for things for myself but I have still been given what I need, regardless.

Sometimes my prayers have been answered immediately and some take a very long time. I have been praying for one particular family for 15 years and I will continue for as long as it takes but one thing I am sure about is that my prayers will be answered. I have to remind myself that God’s time is not my time and that God knows what I need better than I do. His answer may not be what I am expecting but God has my best interests at heart and He will answer my prayers in His way.

God bless you all.

Three

The passage talks about friends . I have know my best friend for fifty seven years. In that time we have spoken regularly regardless of distance. Unfortunately there have been times during my faith journey when I have failed to keep up my relationship with God. However, because of his unconditional love for me Our Lord has never given up on our relationship.

When I spend time in prayer he always listens like a true friend. He has shown loyalty and love towards me. I pray that I can show the same traits on my faith journey. I need to ask, seek and knock. l know he is always listening like any true friend.

Four

Father may your name be held holy…

This takes me to a place beyond thoughts, feelings or images into the presence of God.

All it needs is my yes.

Five

Jesus taught us to be persistent in our prayers- to ask God for what we want and to keep on asking. I wonder if this mirrors God’s persistence with us. I sometimes get the sense that God keeps asking me for what he wants. A slight prick of conscience grows sharper if I try to ignore it. A passing thought to help someone is more persistent if I do not act on it.

Loving God help me to heed your persistent call.

Six

Friends

Even a human friend would respond positively to such “shameless audacity” [NIV translation]. How much more readily will God respond!

Then Jesus gives three ways to initiate such a request – ask, seek, knock.

These correspond to three types of “audacity” – learning styles if you like – auditory, visual, and kinaesthetic. If someone has lost one sense, for example a blind person, they are more likely to proceed by sound or touch.

It’s quite likely that any individual will relate to one of these more than the others. And if one seems not to be working, try another, even if it’s not your natural style!

I don’t read this as asking/seeking/ knocking for “things” or specific outcomes, though Jesus’ examples are physical food, fish or egg – it may be as broad as asking/seeking/knocking for guidance in a next phase of life, perhaps after a setback or even a calamity.

Pax

Seven

Ask.

I asked and the answer came in the most unexpected way. More than I could have hoped for.

What a mighty God we serve.