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Matthew
7:7-11


"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
(ESV)
Why Not Ask?
Tuesday of Lent 5
15 March 2016
If a wealthy man offered to give me a million dollars if I would only ask him for it, would it be rational for me to refuse to make that request? What if I said that it was "too much bother" to petition for the gift? Would the world not think me mad?
 
Yet this is precisely the madness of the human heart. We have a heavenly Father eager to hear our petition and who desires to see to our every need. He has at his disposal limitless riches, all of which He desires us to have, and yet we think it too much bother to ask. This fact gives us a glimpse of the silly wickedness of the human heart. God our Father sincerely desires to give us the best of our needs and has worked the greatest of them in the person of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. So much does He yearn to hear us pray for what we need, He Himself has given us the very words which are most pleasing to Him and has promised to hear them.

 

Martin Luther

"We should be all the more urged and encouraged to pray because God has promised that our prayer will surely be answered, as he says in Psalm 50, 'Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you' (Ps 50:15), and Christ says in Matthew 7, 'Ask and it will be given you,' etc. 'For everyone who asks receives' (Mt 7:7, 8). Such promises certainly ought to awaken and kindle in our hearts a desire and love to pray. For by his Word God testifies that our prayer is heartily pleasing to him and will assuredly be heard and granted, so that we may not despise or disdain it or pray uncertainly.
 
"This you can hold up to him and say, 'I come to Thee, dear Father, and pray not of my own accord or because of my own worthiness, but at thy commandment and promise, which cannot fail or deceive me.' Whoever does not believe this promise should realize once again that he angers God, grossly dishonoring him and accusing him of falsehood.
 
"Furthermore, we should be encouraged and drawn to pray because, in addition to this commandment and promise, God takes the initiative and puts into our mouths the very words we are to use. Thus we see how sincerely he is concerned over our needs, and we shall never doubt that our prayer pleases him and will assuredly be heard. So this prayer is far superior to all others that we might ourselves devise. For in the latter our conscience would always be in doubt, saying, 'I have prayed, but who knows whether it pleased him, or whether I have hit upon the right form and mode?' Thus there is no nobler prayer to be found on earth, for it has the excellent testimony that God loves to hear it. This we should not trade for all the riches in the world"

Martin Luther, Large Catechism, 3.19-23
 
Prayer
God our Father, You have promised all to us by grace and have given us the words of Your prayer on the lips of Your beloved Son, that we Your children might petition You with joy by saying back to You what You have already said to us. Help us to be constant in the prayer You have given us. Amen.
 
For Robert Newton and all the pastors and people of the CNH District of the LCMS, that they would be kept in the care and compassion of Christ the Lord
 
For Alyssa Brim, who is suffering from a cervical spine issue that could possibly require surgery, that the Lord of the church would bring her healing through the hands of doctors and other health professionals
 
For all shut ins, especially Rita Baker, Marie Hoyer, Anita Markwardt, Robert Frerking, Lucille Herter, Ed Jutzi, Pearl White, and Lois Vaughn, that they might comforted by the presence of Christ and His holy angels and that friends and family might not neglect them

Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias Isenheim Altarpiece (1515)

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