Ask, Search, Knock
By John Wight, President of Seventy
“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” —Luke 11:9–10 NRSV
In Luke 11, the author quotes Jesus as he responds to a disciple’s request to teach them how to pray by sharing a sample prayer. It is similar to the one in the book of Matthew, commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus goes on to teach the value of asking, seeking, and knocking—in other words, the value of prayer. He suggested we should add some action to the equation. If we don’t ask, seek, and knock, we should not expect to receive, find, or have a door opened for us.
We tangle Jesus’ teaching in the more contemporary words of famous Canadian hockey player and coach, Wayne Gretzky, who once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” The point is God invites, even encourages us, to act.
Recently, my wife and I talked about how often she misplaces items: keys, credit cards, glasses, files at the office. She expressed how much she relies on God in such times and how faithful God is helping her find the lost items. “Sometimes I feel guilty for bothering God so much,” she said with a grin. “But God always answers one way or another.”
I don’t want to imply that God gives us everything we ask for in just the way we want it. What I do want to suggest is that, as Jesus suggested, we have a responsibility to ask, seek, and knock—to “take the shot”—and then expect God to respond, in God’s way.
Prayer for Peace
Responsive God, you know our words before we utter them. You know our thoughts by our actions. Help us share the peace we proclaim.
Spiritual Practice: Voices of God
What is the voice of God saying to us? Do we hear the whispers of God’s longing for shalom, God’s dream of beauty and wholeness for all creation? Do we hear the voice of God calling us in faces and eyes, in the sounds of suffering and joy, in scripture and sacred word, in tears and laughter, in silence and noise? Spend a few moments reflecting on when and how God’s voice speaks to you. When did you first feel called to join God in the pursuit of peace and justice? How does the call of shalom continue to come to you through the many voices of God?
Today, God, will be a busy day. I will ask, seek, knock, expect, receive, and act.