Sat, 27 July 2019
(Gn.18:20-32; Ps.138:1-3,6-8; Col.2:12-14; Lk.11:1-13)
“Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Prayer. Our wonderful gift from God. Our sharing in His will.
The Lord ordains that Abraham should speak with Him, and so He stops and waits to hear the prayer of His favored one. And so in this mystical scene from our first reading, we are given a holy model for our own petitions of the Lord. Indeed, first we see that the Lord waits upon us to approach Him – His ears are ever open to our pleas. (As we read elsewhere, He knows what we need before we ask.) Second, Abraham prefaces his prayer with acknowledgment of the justice of God, thus revealing the confidence we must have that the Lord will answer any righteous request. Third, Abraham shows the manner in which we must come before our God. Though we must be persistent, thus manifesting our genuine concern for the prayer we offer, we must realize to whom we speak and come before Him in deep humility: “See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes!” says Abraham, and it is with words such as these that he precedes each of his persistent requests. And because of his faith and humility, his prayer is answered and Lot is spared from the destruction of Sodom.
And, of course, our greatest model of prayer is found in our gospel. When Jesus finishes praying, the disciples beg Him to teach them to pray. First He shares with them the Lord’s Prayer, wherein we give ourselves to the providential hand of God and reflect His grace and forgiveness. He then relates a parable on the necessity and blessings of perseverance in prayer – we must never be discouraged in our prayer. Finally, the words which drip like honey from His mouth: “Ask and you will receive…” and His blessed assurance that the Father will “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”
The Lord loves us and wishes to share all of Himself with us. We must but come as children before Him and we will know the kindness of which David sings, and we will sing with him: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth.” Indeed, “the lowly He sees”; His “right hand saves” them. Forsaking not the work of His hands, He rather justifies them, giving them life even by the recognition of their voices before Him. Thus we are “raised with Him through faith in the power of God.” “Having forgiven us all our transgressions” through the cross of Christ, the Father now brings the humble to life through the Spirit of His Son. It is in His hearing our prayer that this grace is best known, for therein our spirits become one with His own.
O Lord, hear and answer us as we call upon you each day in all faith and humility. Make us your own sons and daughters in the Spirit of Christ.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Prayer: He Asks/I Am Not MY Body" (1st part) from Breath, the Apple Rises, fifth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, give us the Holy Spirit
that the salvation wrought by Jesus
might be fulfilled in us,
and we might forever praise your NAME.
YHWH, we call upon your NAME; answer our prayer and send your Spirit upon us to save us and bring us into your kingdom. Your Son would forgive us all our sins – let us be joined to Him.
It is you, O LORD, who listen for our prayers, wishing always to share your grace with your children. By your own hand you would feed us with your Spirit if we would but turn to you in faith. Let us not grow weary of calling upon your NAME, but by our persistence may we find our good desires fulfilled in your kindness.
O LORD, let your people not perish in their sins but find your compassion at work in their lives. Forgive all who turn to you and are baptized into the sacrifice of Jesus. Your promise be fulfilled in our midst by the blood of His Cross.
O Heavenly Father, help us to remember your NAME and the grace that is ours when we seek your face.