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Ask, Seek, Knock

Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to
you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knock it
will be opened. Or what man 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!
(St. Matthew 7:7-11)

In the passage just sighted from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount the Lord is talking about prayer. As Christians prayer is very important to us and we should know as much about prayer as possible.

Jesus said, “Ask ... seek ... knock.” These three words are all verbs, words that denote action. The action in this case being prayer. In the original Greek all three verbs are present imperatives. An imperative is a command. And in Greek the present tense does not so much refer to present time, but to continuous action, now and into the future.

From this brief analysis we learn that we are commanded to pray. God does not suggest that we pray or request that we pray, He commands that we pray. Why does God require that we pray? Why does any parent require verbal communication of need from his children?

I can think of several reasons. First, if a child is automatically given everything they need without asking, that child will not fully realize that he has needs and is not self-sufficient. When we must ask we are forced to face ourselves, analyze our lives, and see ourselves as we really are. It causes us to think; to think about ourselves and to think about God. We more fully realize how utterly dependent we are on our heavenly Father.

Futhermore, without the requirement that we ask in prayer our faith would be stunted. Prayer stretches our faith. We are compelled to trust God for our daily bread and as a result our faith grows.

It is also the case that without the requirement of prayer we would begin to take our daily bread for granted, as something automatic and our due. We would become spoiled children. God’s goal is to bring us to spiritual maturity and the discipline of prayer and faith are essential to accomplish that goal.

Most importantly if we need not pray to God we would lose our sense of relationship. We would not fully realize that we are children who exist under the love, protection and authority of a Father.

By using the present tense Jesus was saying that our prayers need to be continuous, not sporadic. We are to be persistent in our prayer life. As St. Paul put it, “Pray constantly....” (Thess. 5:17) Don’t give up because the answer to your prayers appears slow in coming. Your faith is being stretched so that it might grow and become stronger.

Our prayers must also be all inclusive, i.e., prayer should extend to every conceivable need we may have. Ask, seek, knock. If we want God to give something or do something we ask. If we want something to be found or disclosed to us we are to seek. If want something to be opened we should knock at the door. Jesus is telling us that we should pray to our Father about every need and not hold anything back.

We should never forget that God is our Father and He wants His children to talk to Him regularly. If we do God has promised to listen to our prayers and to answer.

by F. M. Levi

Parish News
The Father/Son Breakfast was held on May 20, 2000. The attendance was very good, a number of fathers and sons from the preschool were present. We thank the Woman’s Guild for the delicious breakfast.

Rev. Levi taught a class on Apologetics at Cranmer Theological House, May 29 to June 9, 2000. Thank you to the Rev. Robert Novak who preached in pastor Levi’s absence.

The ladies of the Woman’s Guild held there annual Rummage & Bake Sale on June 24, 2000. Money was raised for missions and other projects. Thank you to all who contributed items or helped at the sale.

Congratulations to Adam Sellers on his graduation from Evergreen Park High School. We wish you God’s best in the future. Adam is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Franklin (Loretta) Sellers and grandson of Bishop & Mrs. Sellers.

Congratulations to Mark and Sara Levi at the birth of their daughter Madeline Elsa. Madeline was born on June 3, 2000 and weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz. Rev. and Mrs. Levi are the proud grandparents.

Congratulations to Joe and Joan Arrigoni at the birth of their daughter Marissa Joy. Marissa was born on June 18, 2000 and weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. Grant and Fran Chessman are the proud

Frank M. Levi, son of Rev. and Mrs. Levi, and Susan M. Sullivan were united in marriage at St. Andrew’s on June 17, 2000. We wish the newlyweds many happy years together.

Mr. Norman Goering, 65, passed away on July 6, 2000. Mr. Goering, who grew up in this parish, was living in McComb, Mississippi at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Chris; sons, Norman Jr. and Kirk; and his two sisters, Mrs. Edwina Greco and Mrs. Arlene Powers. Our prayers are with the Goering family.

Missionary of The Month

Domestic Missions
Keep in your prayers the work of the Board of National Church Extension (B.N.C.E.),
the Rt. Rev. Royal U. Grote, President; Mrs. Joan Workowski, Treasurer.

Happy Birthday!
August 7 - Rev. Frank Levi
August 18 - Adam Sellers
August 24 - Joan Reagan
August 29 - Bob Fulk
August 30 - Mary Fulk

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