Monday, September 5, 2011

"When you pray...." Homily on the Lord's Prayer, Part 8: Ask in Faith, Doubting Nothing (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"And I say unto you: ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives, and he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks it shall be opened." Luke 11:9-10

Right after Jesus teaches His disciples what to pray, He tells them about the importunate friend (vs. 5-8) and the good father (vs. 11-13). Sandwiched in between those two stories is this principle of asking, seeking, and knocking. The immediate idea is this: when you pray, pray in faith. Pray with the determination that your good heavenly Father will answer you. Do not come halfhearted and pathetic, limping along in prayer. Enter boldly into the holiest of holies (Heb. 10:19-22) and tell your good Father what moves and troubles your heart, believing that He will not give you a stone for bread.

The more general idea behind ask, seek, and knock is this: those who believe, do; and those who do, receive. Faith is not a passive thing, a pious waiting in the static dark. It is a courageous thing, the thing that moves forward even while in the dark (Heb. 11:8b). If we truly believe that our father in heaven is good, and that He will not give as stones when we ask for bread, then we will do: we will ask for that daring thing, seek the ways of glory, and knock upon the doors of God's treasure houses. Not to prove that we believe, but because we believe. We will not receive if we do not do, and we will not do unless we believe. That is the great principle that we must not forget. Faith is the spark that lights the fuse to the dynamite of God. He does not ask that we first do this or that, but that we believe Him so that we may finally do this or that and see the power and the glory of God.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

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