As infants we cry and most often our needs are fulfilled. As we mature, however, this vital step to receiving is sometimes conditioned out of us and we must be reminded that “It Never Hurts To Ask.” I often heard this from my mother-in-law. Olga was never afraid to ask. When she purchased a matress that was too firm, she asked for another. When the next one didn’t meet her expectations, she asked for another. When the woodgrain of her new dining room table didn’t line up with the leaf inserted, she asked for another. And another. And another. Olga was persistent in asking until she received what she desired.
Persistence is is embedded in Jesus’ teaching, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8) His words illustrate for us a three-part, persistent prayer process assuring us whatever we ask for, God will give us.
But this is not always our experience. I know personally, I’m still waiting for the pony I asked for when I was five! It seems that some things we ask for are given and others are not. How do we reconcile this assurance with our experience?
First, let’s look at what we are asking for. Are we asking for what we truly need or for something that we think will fill an underlying need? Perhaps our true desire is freedom, security, happiness, peace, love, and a deeper connection with Spirit. Additionally, asking is not intended to stand alone. It is a first and essential step in a three-part prayer process. Asking in prayer quiets the ego invoking a deeper connection with the Divine. Asking clarifies our needs in our own minds and informs those who might be able to fulfill them.
Part two is “Seek and you will find;” another assurance that God will provide. What we are looking for will show up. In the Gospel of Thomas, however, Jesus says “Seek and do not cease seeking UNTIL you find.” Seek UNTIL you find encourages persistence. In affirmative prayer, we seek or see only the good; only the answered prayer until it is made manifest. If we are seeking peace, prosperity, or healing, what are we seeing? What image are we holding? See yourself as whole, healed, and peaceful UNTIL it is what you are experiencing.
Part three, “Knock and the door will be opened,” suggests a sound must be made. A knock is a loud noise announcing our presence. To knock is to AFFIRM the truth in our own minds and in the universe. It sets the stage for a door to be opened. But what is opened? Is it door number three where the pony is hiding? Or is it the door to our hearts and minds that opens allowing the creative power of God to flow through us?
It never hurts to ask. In fact, asking is the first and most vital key to invoking a connection with God and opening our hearts and minds to receive. When combined with seeing only the answered prayer and affirming it as done, every door within us becomes open to receive.
© 2016. Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra
Rev. Eileen is an ordained Unity Minister, currently serving as the senior minister of Unity of Livonia, Livonia, MI