Ask, Search, Knock – Br. David Allen

DavidA_2008_031In the part of the Sermon on the Mount read as today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that perseverance in prayer is important.  Keep on asking, keep on searching, and keep on knocking.  Keep asking and that for which you seek will become clearer.   Keep searching and the way to find what you seek will be understood.  Keep knocking and the door through which you can find the goal of your search will be opened for you.

Those who continue to ask will be directed to finding their answer.  Those who continue to search will find the answer they need.  Those who continue to knock will find the door to their goal opened for them.

Jesus then put a parable for parents,  a question about how clearly they understood what was asked of them by their children.  Is this parable really only for parents and their children? As a way of making the goals of prayer clearer Jesus asked if anyone whose child asked for bread would give that child a stone, or if asked for a fish would give a serpent. Only an idiot or a mean person would do that!

If we, who fall far short of the perfection of God, can see that God will not answer yes to prayer that is not consistent with God’s will, then when we pray our own prayers should be kept in line with what we understand God’s will to be.  As our understanding of how to pray, and what to ask God in our prayers grows, we should also grow in the knowledge that God knows better than we do what we need.

Several of the Collects appointed in the Prayer Book to use after the Prayers of the People point out that God indeed knows our needs, even before we ask.  (Cf. BCP pp.  394-5)

Following the example of those Collects, and Jesus’ teachings on prayer in today’s Gospel, we can learn to pray in this way:  First we shouldask for clarity, then we can search for a proper goal for our prayer, and finally we can knock at the door of heaven to be shown the way of implementing that prayer.

Has perseverance in prayer helped you to find clear goals for your prayer and to realize those goals?


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  1. James Doran on July 26, 2020 at 11:42

    “Has perseverance in prayer helped you to find clear goals for your prayer and to realize those goals?”

    The best answers, as any teacher knows, are questions. Thank you, Brother David , for the inspiration your question has provided me this morning, when I needed it most.

  2. Rhys Hal Terrill on July 23, 2020 at 14:48

    My favorite time of day for me is walking to the Church to pray the Office with Father Richard Proctor and our dear sister Buffy and praying the office . What do you think about chanting the office ?

  3. Gerry Malmo on July 23, 2020 at 11:35

    Brother David’s wisdom is no to be overlooked. While the hair may have thinned and what remains is gray, I applaud his simple clarity. In time, a few of the brothers who may require considerably more ink may recognize his experience, conciseness and thought provoking capabilities. I am grateful to have the benefit of his many laps around the track of life. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

  4. Alan Cairnie on July 23, 2020 at 10:30

    Brother Allen,s comments on Jesus.teaching fits well with my reading this morning from 1Peter 4:7, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”. What a challenge for us.

  5. Elizabeth Hardy on July 23, 2020 at 09:17

    Those who have ears, let them hear! As always Br. David’s wisdom is simple, straightforward and provides no room for excuses…remind you of another preacher like that? When I see that the meditation is written by Br David I know I won’t be able to claim I didn’t understand. Elizabeth Hardy+

  6. Bobbi on July 23, 2020 at 08:00

    Thank you, Br. David. This was just the message I need this morning. God bless you.

  7. Edward Greene on June 21, 2018 at 10:46

    There is a wonderful clarity and simplicity in Brother David’s preaching. I have often noticed it and been grateful for it. Today’s post is confirmation of my prayer experience throughout this whole week, pared down into a few crystalline sentences.

  8. Maureen on June 21, 2018 at 07:22

    The answer for perseverance in prayer has been been my search. Your writing is the answer to my prayers. Thank you Brother Allen for bringing the gift of clarity for me to receive today.

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