Our world appears to thrive and profit from our fear —
fear of those different from us,
fear of insignificance and isolation,
fear that our secret shames might come to light.
Could there be another way to live?
Is it possible to fear less?
And I tell you: Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. To everyone who knocks, the door is opened.
Jesus makes grand promises about prayer’s power: “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” As I read these words, I feel a little bit like Han Solo in the original Star Wars as Luke Skywalker promises wealth beyond imagination for rescuing Princess Leia. Solo skeptically replies, “I don’t know. I can imagine quite a bit!”
Anyone who has read these verses and then asked for a yacht or for the perfect prom date understands that prayer doesn’t work that way. Jesus isn’t offering a blank check or a treasure map. More seriously, some of us have prayed for dying relatives or deteriorating marriages and learned the hard way that sometimes we ask but don’t receive. Was Jesus deceitful or merely mistaken?
Neither. Tomorrow’s verses clarify the kind of request Jesus has in mind, but for today, trust this promise: we pray to a good God that cares, hears, and knows what is truly best. We don’t have to fear going unheard or forgotten.
God, thank you that you hear me when I call. Grant me peace to trust without fear when I don’t always hear you in reply. Help me to ask and seek those things that you know are best for me. Amen.
May you go to face the day free from fear, rooted and established in the love of Christ and empowered by the Creator’s good gift of the Holy Spirit.
May love and truth meet in your thoughts, words, and actions this day.