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  • Writer's picturePastor Nancy Raabe

A Room With a View: Asking and Receiving

Ask, and it will be given.... (Matthew 7:7) Jesus makes it sound so easy: Ask. Seek. Knock. For everyone who asks receives! That's a pretty good guarantee. But this asking is about more than making requests--it's about worship. When we "come before God's presence with thanksgiving" (Psalm 95:2), when we come before Jesus with a need, we are not asking him to intercede in historical events. We are asking him to change our hearts so that we can be part of the healing of the world. This is the substance of prayer, and prayer is the substance of worship. Take the pandemic, for instance. "God, make it go away. Give us back the life we once had." It's not God's job to fix things from God's solitary post up there in heaven. God needs us to be part of this work, just as Jesus needed the disciples to actually distribute the loaves and fishes (Matthew 14:19). We are participants in the healing of the nations, in the ongoing restoration of all things in Christ. Otherwise, why would we even be here? As much as we love cows, we are not cattle. We are beings created in God's image (Genesis 1:27). And Christ has called us through the church to do his work in the world, to be his hands and feet. So "make it go away" means that we hear God calling us to do everything possible to keep our neighbors, our families, and ourselves safe. It is an active request; it changes us, our outlook on the world, and our behavior. And "Give us back the life we once had" means that God is opening our hearts to something new and calling forth creativity from each of us. Everything is always changing. Everything is always being made new. The clock can never be turned back. God knows to hear "Give us life" as request within which the Spirit can work. Yours in the conviction of new life every day, Pastor Raabe

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