Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25; Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8;Matthew 7:7-12
Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Ask … seek … knock. (Matthew 7:7)
Christopher Columbus. Ferdinand Magellan. Vasco Da Gama. These men are considered some of history’s greatest explorers. But what enabled them to cross vast oceans at great risk just to reach their goal? Mostly it was their determination to succeed no matter what. It also took a lot of trust. They had to trust in their ships, in their navigational instruments and charts, and ultimately, in God.
This is the kind of attitude that Jesus is asking us to have in prayer. For there’s a certain level of tenacity implied in the advice he gives us today: ask, seek, and knock. Jesus is telling us that not only should we request things of God, we should actively seek him out for these things. In fact, he invites us to knock right on his front door! He tells us to be persistent as well. We can’t give up just because we don’t see tangible results right away. We need to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.
This means that trust has to be at the heart of our prayer—trust based on knowing how much the Lord cares for us. It’s a trust in his promise: “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). It’s a trust based on the fact that our Father loves us so much that he sent his only Son to die a sinner’s death for us. It’s the trust that tells us that our God will never abandon us. He is our Father, not just our Maker, and he doesn’t hand out snakes to his children!
In prayer today, take a cue from the great explorers. You may have been seeking something for a long time—perhaps a job or healing from an illness. Don’t give up! Your persistence will pay off as you draw closer to God—and as he draws closer to you. So give your worries to him. Even if he doesn’t answer your prayer the way you had hoped, he will answer in the way that is best for you. The only thing he can’t do is ask for you—that part is up to you!
“Lord, teach me to pray with persistence and with faith in your love and care. Help me to trust that you are always with me—no matter what the challenge may be.”~WAU