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Friday, 22 July 2022 17:51

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2022

  LUKE 11:1-13



Bill Burt 150This Sunday’s Gospel is surely at the heart of Jesus’ teaching. It begins with Jesus instructing his followers how to pray. He says those words that Christians cherish, the Our Father, and then he talks about asking for things and receiving what we need.

Reading those beautiful words, “Ask, and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open to you”, we can feel assured, comforted, blessed.

Yet, in reality, we don’t always receive what we ask for. In reality, our prayers aren’t always answered, and doors remain closed to us.

person hand knock the door, visit the friends housePossibly, a reason why this is a common experience is because we forget that Jesus didn’t just say, “Ask, and you will receive”. He also said, “Give and you will receive.” (Luke 6:38).

Could it be that giving is a “special ingredient”, needed to make a prayer of petition to come true?

Once someone pointed out to me that there are actually several special ingredients for effective prayer. Giving is one of these, but there are also others. She described these as being steps in practising “seed faith”, and are all found in the Bible.

The first step is to bring your need to God, but not focus on it. Focus on God who is able to provide what you need, rather than on the need itself (2 Corinthians 9:6-15). In other words, be a person who unabashedly praises God, and not one who says over and over again, “Oh, poor me!” The second step is to give something, to sow what could be actually described as a “seed”. (Luke 6:38) This could be time, care, money, goods … Remember the words of St Paul: “God loves the cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).The third step, probably the hardest one for most of us,  is to trust that our need will be met, as St. Paul says, “My God will fulfil all your needs out of the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Practising “seed faith” isn’t a magic formula, that somehow forces God to act in accord with our wishes. It does, however, enable us to focus on God in a way that enables us to receive blessing. It can open us to receive God in our lives in special ways.

Does it work? It’s worth trying!

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In the spirit of reconciliation, the Society of the Divine Word, Australia Province, acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, sky, and community.

We acknowledge their skin-groups, story-lines, traditions, religiosity and living cultures.

We pay respect to their elders, past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all indigenous peoples of New Zealand, Thailand, and Myanmar.

We are committed to building with them, a brighter future together.