Because of Our Persistence
When one of the disciples asks Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus tells them to address God with the intimate, relational name Father. He asks them to pray that the kingdom, God’s kingdom that we anticipate in eternal life, be actualized on earth. How do we imagine God’s kingdom? What is God’s desire for all of creation? How is all of creation related? How are we to live in relationship to each other and all that God created? How do we respect the dignity of all of creation—the earth and all its creatures, as well as humanity in all its diversity?
As I reflect on the state of God’s creation today, I am sad, disappointed, disgusted, angry and close to despair. So much is a mess! That’s when I most need the rest of the prayer, the rest of the way Jesus teaches us to pray.
In our prayer, Jesus teaches and invites us to ask for “daily bread.” When we ask for God’s forgiveness of our sins, Jesus assumes that we ourselves are already forgiving everyone to whom we owe forgiveness.
Jesus uses a very easy acronym for the pattern of our prayer: Ask, Seek, and Knock (ASK). Have you ever prayed for something and gotten the opposite thing you asked for or nothing at all? Prayed and gotten what you wanted? Has anyone ever asked you for something and received it from you or asked and been refused? Jesus says persistence pays off. Just as you would not refuse a needy person a loaf of bread, God won’t refuse the Holy Spirit to anyone who persists in asking.