And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” – Luke 11:5-13
One of my favorite movies is “Vacation” with Chevy Chase. If you recall, when they get to “Wally World,” it is closed and John Candy, the security guard says, “Sorry. Parks closed. The moose outside should have told you.”
As I read through this morning’s Gospel passage, I could not help but think of this scene and if God were the security guard. What if He (God) had the same response as John Candy? “Sorry, I’m busy right now and can’t help you. Come back later.” Of course, this is a humorous way of getting the point across but thankfully, it is not something we ever need to worry about because He is always there for us, ready, willing, and able to respond.
Now, some may say, if that is the case, then why do I need to reach out to Him? Why do I need to pray if He is all-knowing and all-powerful? Doesn’t He already know what I need?
Sometimes we think that since God knows all things, we need not ask him for anything. We need only wait until God will give us what we need. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this passage, Jesus doesn’t worry; instead, he says that our Heavenly Father will gladly and lovingly provide whatever we need, provided we ask for it. One reason why God has arranged things this way is that if our needs were automatically provided for, a great number of us would not even realize there is a God, or we would easily forget Him. There are affluent societies in which the people’s material needs are taken care of easily. Does such a situation remind the people of God, His power, or His love? When we ask God to provide for our needs, we implicitly recognize his existence and authority in our lives. God wants us to do this.
But there are even more important reasons God wants us to ask. It is in asking that our faith grows. The more we ask, the more we come into a personal relationship with God. If we never had to turn to Him for our needs, we would never realize how much He wants to be a part of our lives. But when we have to ask, especially if we have to put some time and effort into it, then, when our needs are satisfied, it will be very clear that God did it. It will be clear that it wasn’t us, or luck, or anything else, but God. Don’t be afraid to ask. Develop your faith by doing so.
Jesus died on the cross and rose again so that we might all have eternal life. He EXPECTS us to lay our burdens, our fears, our inadequacies at the foot of His cross so that He may take on that burden for us. If we choose otherwise, if we feel we can manage our lives on our own without His help, without our prayers to Him, then we are not giving Him the adoration and respect that He deserves. We end up relying solely on our ourselves and our intuitions and that typically sends us down a path we should not go (been there, done that!). Remember, we need to have a relationship with God and by definition, that involves at least 2 people. We cannot leave Him out of daily lives, our daily prayers. We cannot expect Him to just know what it is we need and POOF!, like some sort of genie, He responds to our needs. That, of course, is not how His divine mercy and grace work. If we act in this manner, we eventually will forget about God (possibly) and where does that leave us? Alone? Frightened? Lost?
Yes, He is God and WILL ALWAYS be there for us, giving us what we need, when we need it (remember, it is His will AND in His time). But, that does not mean that we should abandon our relationship with Him, putting aside our prayers with Him. He deserves our love, respect, adoration and especially our gratitude for all that He does for us and will continue to do for us.
When we reach out to Him, and we need to, we need not worry that He approaches us and says, “Sorry. Heaven’s closed. The angels out front should have told you.”
Peace and Blessings.