Today’s reading: Matthew 7:7-8, Psalm 85
In 1988 my sister, Amanda Beasley, went away to college in eastern Tennessee. When she came home for fall break just a couple months into her freshman year, I could already detect a southern drawl in her speech. The longer she stayed in Tennessee, the more pronounced it became.
A year and a half later, when I was a senior in high school, my parents let me go on spring break with my sister and her two friends. As I look back on it now, I’m not sure what they were thinking. They let me (their 17 year-old daughter at the time) take a week off of school, drive to Tennessee to pick up my sister and two friends, go to Florida for their spring break, then stay in Tennessee for another week on my high school spring break. I was just a few months away from college myself, so maybe this was one way to prepare me for being on my own? Or, I am a boring rule-follower, but my sister is not. While she was having a blast as a college sophomore, maybe they sent me down to put a damper on some of her fun? Most likely it was because I was a super snotty 17 year old girl and this was their chance to get a two week break from me. Whatever the case, it was crazy fun. But do you know what happened to me over those two weeks? I picked up the southern drawl. After two solid weeks with these girls, I naturally started to sound like them!
In our scripture today, Jesus directs us to make requests of God though prayer. Why? Why would a God who is completely omniscient ask us to pray? Does he need us to let him know what is going on down here on Earth? Do you think he wants our input on what action to take? Do you think he is just lonely? None of these reasons make sense, as every one of them goes against who we know God to be. He is all powerful and all knowing, perfect in every way. He does not need our time or our money to accomplish his purposes.
The purpose of communication with God through prayer is not to change circumstances, it is to change us. As a teenager, I started sounding like my sister and friends after spending just two weeks with them. It is the same with God. The more time we spend with him, the more we will start to sound like him. The more time we spend with him, the more natural it will be to seek his ways instead of our own.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8).