Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; ‘for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; “and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? “I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? “Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
There are several lessons to be learned in this Gospel. This offers us a good opportunity to get a new perspective on the Lord’s Prayer. First, Jesus is teaching us more about hospitality. Jesus is sharing that persistence is “okay”. It’s okay to keep praying for what we need. Second, Jesus tells us “For everyone who asks, receives”. The prayer of petition should not cause you to feel shame. We pray faithfully that God will answer our prayers and provide for our needs. We must understand that often, the answer doesn’t come immediately or as we expect it to be fulfilled. Third, Jesus shares that as parents, we know how to give good gifts to our children. Jesus continues to share just how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? What Jesus is telling us is that our persistent praying of the Lord’s Prayer daily will be answered as a gift given to Holy Spirit.
The concept of hospitality (servant leadership) is abound through out the Bible. In Genesis Chapter 18, we find Abraham and Sara catering to their guests. We see this again in the story of Martha and Mary. We’re taught that giving is a way of prayer. In our servitude approach, we humble ourselves and make a loving gesture for those we are serving. The idea of God and Jesus is abstract in our reality. Because we are bound by faith and not evidence, we are challenged to understand how God wishes us to serve Him and others. The scriptures offer us examples to follow. Stewardship comes in many forms. Often these are grouped as time, treasure and talent. But here we see that hospitality is another form of stewardship. We are asked to have faith that God knows what is best for us and will provide what we need but not always what we want. We need to pray with the innocence of a child within our heart and not with the mindset of greed or desire. Is what you are asking of God for yourself or others? Is it something that is life changing or just providing additional pleasure? As a parent, do you always give your child something they want? Or, do you provide them with what they need along with teaching them life lessons that will serve them as they become adults? Now think about how you would answer the prayers of others if you were in a position to make a difference. Next, ask yourself; “Am I in a position to make a difference for this person?”. What might that be? Is it providing the time to perhaps serve at a soup kitchen? Is it providing the talent to make a blanket for someone sick? Is it extending a warm hand and a donation to a charity or homeless? Is it seeing someone in pain and simply showing compassion and taking a moment to be hospitable and friendly? We don’t often know the impact we have on the life of another. The “legacy” we leave behind. Will you be someone that becomes immortal in the minds of those you’ve impacted for being a person who provide time, treasure and talent or will your memory be associated with fear and anger?
Let’s ask the Grace of God that He sends us the Holy Spirit to guide us in our decisions so that we may have our name written in Heaven!