“So I say to you:  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Luke 11:9-13

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer.  Our world needs me and every other believer to step up. That is the bottom line. I know it’s hard.  It can be downright awkward if you have never done anything like this before, but as believers, we are called to pray. 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find.”  Let’s all just quietly and seriously ask ourselves are we actively seeking?  Are we actively asking?  Not many of us are.

Let’s be honest, because that is what I do on here.  It’s hard to believe in prayer.  God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want him to or when we want him to.  We don’t have the luxury of an immediate verbal response that we are used to in our human relationships.  It’s hard to know that it is working and that we aren’t just talking to the air.  Right? 

And I would suggest that when we are only “halfway in” versus “all in” to our faith, it is even harder to believe.  God reveals himself to us when we go all in.  When we aren’t seeking, when we aren’t making room for God in our life, we don’t notice His work. 

I love the verse above because it compares us to children.  And as far as faith goes, we really are like children.  We don’t always know what is best for us and so we can take an answered prayer and interpret it as unanswered because it wasn’t delivered the way we wanted. 

A great example is a child asking for cookies.  My son would eat cookies and chocolate all day long if I let him.  He likes it.  It tastes good and makes him feel good….for the moment.  But he doesn’t know what is good for him.  He doesn’t understand that just because it feels good and tastes good and seems really good, it might not be the best choice and that too much of it is going to give him a stomach ache. 

Aren’t we like that? I know I am.  I want my life to roll along as planned and I don’t want to suffer or have anyone else suffer.  I just want to feel good all the time.

But I also know that I have truly learned the most from my trials.  It’s easy to look at the trials and challenges of our day and question the existence of God.  Why would he let those things happen?  But it is also very interesting and telling to me that when tragedies strike, what do people say?  They say, “you are in my prayers. “  If we know nothing else about God, we know that when there are no answers, He is the answer.  Isn’t that remarkable?  We know it, but day to day we forget, ignore, get distracted, or flat out don’t even know how to deal with the thought that there is a God who might be able to do impossible things.

I had a great opportunity to meet with our pastor, PVW, before I got baptized last week.  We met and talked about baptism and then we had a few extra minutes to talk about whatever else.  In that conversation, he said something that was so telling, so right on, I feel stupid for nor realizing it myself.  He said that when there is not a real “Need” for God, when life is rolling along as planned and we feel like we are in control, it is easy and common to be less faithful.  We don’t seek God in those instances.  When we have all our needs met and when everything is rolling along flawlessly or close to that, we don’t recognize our need for God. 

I am a testament to that.  It took the bottom falling out, me getting to the end of myself for me to realize that God was the only one who could fix things.  He did not answer my prayer in the way I wanted.  Actually when He answered it, it took quite some time to realize that it was actually answered.  But he answered it and I am blessed because of it. 

So, I’m just saying that maybe God allows bad things to happen so we will seek his face.  And, just because he doesn’t answer prayers the way we want all the time, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray.  The more we seek, the more we ask, the more He will reveal himself to us. 

So the challenge for tomorrow is that we will all join together in a day of prayer and kick off a lifetime of asking, seeking and knocking.  There are a lot of people struggling.  There are a lot of people who are carrying heavy burdens.  Tomorrow we can lay those burdens down.

In light of the recent events in Boston, and the National day of prayer, if you are in Columbia, I will be leading a prayer from 5:15-5:25am at the Forum trailhead. I invite you to join us.  At 5:30, there is a regular group of people that run and walk from there and if you would like to join in that, I invite you to join us as well.  If you are having trouble believing or praying, you can lean on my faith and those that are there.  If you don’t live here, I challenge you to pray with someone or lead a group as well.  I’ll even post my prayer later tonight or early tomorrow if you want to pray my prayer.

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”  Matthew 18:20 

May we come together tomorrow in prayer. 

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