Over the past few Sundays, our Gospels have focused on what it means to be a disciple and a follower of Jesus. Today we look at the depth of that discipleship in how that relationship works through prayer.
People who claim to have a relationship with God often act as if they discovered it. But the truth is that God found them and led them to their creator.
There are countless Christians who have experienced God’s forgiveness and the reconciliation in Christ’s dying and resurrection. Convicted felons on death row, white-collar executives who have broken trust with their companies, addicts, and just ordinary folk testify to the glorious new life that comes from this relationship.
As disciples of Jesus through our baptism, we are given the outline of how we should pray: the Lord’s Prayer. Many good books and sermons have unpacked this prayer that almost everyone knows by heart. It is prayed in many languages around the world, a continuous offering going up from the hearts of the faithful, and even from those who may not be sure about their faith.
Then Jesus tells his disciples, and us, through Luke, to take the actions expected of this relationship: ask, search, knock. Prayer is more about searching than finding. The words Jesus gives us in the Lord’s Prayer express exactly the way Jesus lived and prayed: in intimate union with and trust in the Father, in furthering God’s kingdom and in surrender to God’s will which brings life.
Prayer is more about searching for God and divine presence than about finding answers to specific needs.
Asking, searching, and knocking are actions disciples should take every day. We should say the Lord’s Prayer, then get up and begin our day with action. Be a disciple, pray the prayer our Lord taught us to pray, then search for the things God has in mind for you. You will find them, because we worship a God who always keeps promises.