Today is Thursday the 25 February, in the first week of Lent.
The choir of Holy Sepulchre London, directed by Peter Asprey sing, ‘Otche Nash’; a version of the Lord’s prayer by Nicolay Kedrov. As you listen, begin to find a stillness in your breathing and your body, in preparation for prayer today.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
‘Ask, and it will be given to 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. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Jesus offers an attractive picture of God here. A loving parent, eager to give his children all that they need. Start this time of prayer by staying with that image of a loving God for a few moments.
How true is this image to your own experience of God? When you have asked, searched, and knocked, has God’s response always been positive? You might recall both times when it has, but also times when God hasn’t seemed to respond to your requests. Perhaps you are searching and knocking even harder during this difficult time.
Sometimes even a good parent won’t give what they’re asked for. Might that fact add something to the deeper understanding or prayer that we’re seeking here?
Listen to this passage again in the context of your own experience of giving, or not giving, to those who ask you for things.
How better to end this prayer by responding to Jesus as he suggests, asking for whatever you most need in your own life just now.
You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.