Prepare to Listen. As you wait in silence and stillness, pray: Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
Prayerfully Read Luke 11:5-13
5And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” 7And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. 9So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’
As Jesus continued teaching about prayer he focused, not on its practice but on the One to whom we pray. Prayer is far more than saying words. In its essence, prayer is a relationship with God and, like all relationships, getting to know God is essential and ongoing. You must, as Abraham Heschel taught, “know before whom you stand.” Because God, as Catherine of Sienna discovered, is “like a deep sea, in which the more I seek, the more I find,” the relationship is always ongoing and we’ll always discover new truths about God. In this text, Jesus highlighted.
First, God is generous. If a reluctant, unwilling friend will finally get up and help you, how much more our heavenly Father? God isn’t like that friend who needs to be battered before he responds to our needs, even though prayer requires persistence and patience because we don’t receive instant responses. Second, God is good. If parents who are evil (sinners) give good to their children, how much more will our heavenly Father give what is good for us? And the good God wants to give is the Holy Spirit.
We persist in prayer, not to twist God’s arm to get what we want, but to be more fully present to God and to grow in our relationship with God.
What are you doing to keep growing in your prayer life, your relationship with God?
Respond to Jesus
You taught us, in both your behavior and your words, that the One to whom we pray is infinitely greater than anything we can imagine. Help me rest today in your generosity to give generously and only what is good. Amen.
Live obediently. Keep getting to know more and more of our Triune God.
 Heschel, Abraham. Between God and Man. New York, NY: Free Press Paperbacks. 1997, p. 210.
I began reading my Bible when I was 8 years old. I loved it then (albeit didn't understand much) and I still love reading and studying it. I may understand a little more but I keep learning new stuff, seeing things I missed for years. This journey with Luke during Lent has been another new learning experience for me, deepening my relationship with Jesus. I pray it will do the same for you.