Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”( Matthew 7:7-12).
Today, Jesus takes us deeper into prayer and reminds us that the very act of praying is needed in order to draw closer to Our Father. How? Why?
It begins with the fact that the way has been opened for us to live in an even fuller communion with God than our first parents had. In Jesus we are being re-created, re-fashioned and redeemed. He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelations 3:20) He lives in us and we live in Him.
Prayer is the house where we learn what that means.
Prayer also leads us into a life of communion. It is our fuel, the wind in our sails. It’s through prayer that our daily life can become a classroom of communion. In that classroom we can learn the truth about who we are – and who we are becoming – in Jesus.
Through prayer, we receive new glasses through which we will see the true landscape of life. Through prayer, darkness can be dispelled and the path of progress illuminated.
Through prayer, we are drawn by Love into a deepening relationship with Jesus whose loving embrace on the hill of Golgotha bridged heaven with earth; His relationship with His Father is opened to us; the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead begins to give us new life as we are converted, transfigured and made new.
Through prayer, heavenly wisdom is planted in the field of our hearts and we experience a deepening communion with our Trinitarian God. We begin to experience the mystery and meaning in those words of the Apostle and actually become “partakers of the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:4)
I smile as I write this because it reminds me that my happiest moments are those spent in prayer. Not just formal prayer where we praise, ask and seek. But in conversational prayer – talking to Him throughout the day – walking my dogs, driving a car, being touched by an image or a scene or, in moments of darkness, knowing that He is there, listening and waiting to respond.
Prayer is our conversation with God and conversation must be active. The more we talk with Him, the more He will reveal Himself to us. What a promise! What a blessing.
Prayer of The Day
“Let me love you, my Lord and my God, and see myself as I really am – a pilgrim in this world, a Christian called to respect and love all whose lives I touch, those in authority over me or those under my authority, my friends and my enemies. Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor. Help me to forget myself and reach out towards others.”
Prayer flows from the love of God; and the personal love we show to our neighbor is fueled by the love that God has poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Jesus concludes his teaching on prayer with the reminder that we must treat our neighbor in the same way we wish to be treated by God. We must not just avoid doing harm to our neighbor, we must actively seek his or her welfare. In doing so, we fulfill the scriptural teaching from the “law and the prophets,” namely what God requires of us – loving God with all that we have and are and loving our neighbor as ourselves.