Week Two (Day 7) - Answers to Prayer
May the grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
In chapter 11 of the Gospel of Luke we read,
Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)
Some people finds these words of Jesus difficult words. Weve all had the experience of asking for something in prayer and we have not received. But maybe this is true, that whenever we ask for whatever it is we need to live as disciples of Jesus in the situations in which we find ourselves, and leave the Lord to give us what is best, then we ask and we receive, we knock and the door is always opened for us.
Many years ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and renowned anti-apartheid campaigner, was asked how he managed to do what he did, namely again and again to stand up and publicly denounce the government with all the risks this opposition entailed. He replied with words like these, that whenever he stood up to speak, he knew that someone, somewhere in the world was praying for him.
We are members of a pray-as-you-stay community, men and women throughout the world who are facing up to the threat of the pandemic. By doing what we can to keep ourselves safe, we are helping others keep safe too. We don't know where all this will lead us, and we dont know what our world will be like when the virus is over and we deal with its longer lasting social and economic effects.
This is the situation in which we are called to follow Jesus, to live like Jesus, to love like Jesus which means that time and again we will be asking ourselves in the particular situation in which we find ourselves, What would Jesus do?
Let us every day, maybe as often as three times a day, pray for each other in this community of ours. We know the strength that our prayers can give to those who are seeking to face up to a difficult challenge, just as Jesus would. We know too that knowing, like Desmond Tutu, that someone, somewhere in the world, at that very moment, is praying for them can make a great difference to them.
In praying in this way, we will be following the example of the apostle Paul, who frequently prayed for his brothers and sisters, as we read in the first chapter of his letter to the Philippians:
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5 because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-6)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.