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Ask, seek, knock

 

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Gospel • Mt 7:7-12

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 asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks 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.”

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Notice that in the Gospel Jesus uses imperatives when he teaches his disciples about prayer. Then, he goes on to give clear assurances that a fervent request will definitely be answered. Jesus is teaching us to pray with urgency, perseverance, and joy. These qualities are present in our Christian prayer, not because we who pray are so deserving, but because we pray to our generous, heavenly Father who constantly gives good things to those who ask.

Does this mean that all prayers are answered? St. Augustine affirms that prayer always receives a response; however, he adds, “If our prayers seem unanswered, it is because we do not ask rightly or we do not ask for the right things.” Here is how a little girl responded when she was taunted that God did not answer her prayer; she simply said, “Yes, God answered my prayer, but this time he said ‘no.’” Authentic prayer always combines the prayer of petition with the prayer of praise and gratitude to our Father in heaven.

What is my attitude in prayer? Does my prayer deepen my personal relationship with the Father and his Son, Jesus?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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