I often get frustrated with my mother. I know, I deserve some grief considering all that I put her through. My mother is loving, kind, fun, in good health, and becoming increasingly independent as she heads towards 90. The problem is, she refuses to ask us for anything. I say, “Mom, let me help you order tickets for your upcoming flight.” She says, “I don’t want to bother you. I’m willing to call United on the phone.” Then she grabs the yellow pages and her old black rotary phone. She also insists on finding her own way to and from the airport. I say to her, “Let me help.” She refuses to ask for what she needs.
Jesus teaches us to pray:
To our father-God who is hallowed — We refuse to ask for help in developing a spiritual center. We don’t ask father-God to enter into our worldview so that we see everything flowing out of God’s holiness. All that is, is because of this one on whom we call. This one prayer can put our lives into a proper alignment and order. Yet, we do not have because we do not ask.
For God’s heavenly authority to be mirrored in my life and my world. Our faith in God's kingdom is the only thing that provides us with hope. The world seems to be going to hell in a hand-basket, but it is not. Our lives seem to lack divine leadership, but this is only because we are myopic. We do not have hope, because we do not pray.
For stuff. We need stuff. We also need to see how much stuff we don’t really need. We should ask God to show us how to share our money and things in ways that help others. We are afraid to let God correct our ideas about stuff. We are afraid to ask for a chance to live life day to day, with God giving us our bread just when we need it. This would be so much simpler. We have such painful complications because we do not ask for daily bread.
For forgiveness. We are always demanding an apology. We fail to give apologies, or when we do, we are not repentant enough to change our future behavior. (Ask the person who is nearest to you if this is true.) We want people to change in ways that will please us. We are miles away from humbly asking for God to change us in a way that will please others. We have not peace, because we do not ask to be taught how to forgive.
So Jesus teaches us to pray. He opens the treasure box of heaven. We have not, because we refuse to ask.