Praying the Questions
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
Whether intentional or unconscious, I suppose that we all have a code we live by.
I remember in school learning that Ben Franklin said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” That is almost right. There are things however, that it is best not to do today. One part of my personal code says, if you are not sure what to do and you don’t have to do it today, then DON’T! Recently I was talking about a thorny question with a pastor. Neither of us had clarity on the best way forward. I offered one of my life code questions, “Do we need to decide right now?” We decided that we did not, so instead, we decided to “pray the question.” In Matthew 7 Jesus says, Ask! Seek! Knock! Pray! Praying the questions is active discernment. It is engagement in our faith and in our relationship with God.
As a child in VBS, I learned the song,
“When you don’t know what to do, Can’t tell which way is right for you,
Say a little prayer.
You will have an answer true, God will tell you what to do,
God is everywhere!
(VBS is SOOOO important! Thanks to all who plan and serve in this way. A week of VBS can sustain a lifetime!)
Occasionally, it comes to me in prayer that I do know what to do, but that the doing requires time or effort or more likely courage that I have yet to muster up. When this feeling comes to me, I take myself to the sanctuary in my imagination, with the pipe organ booming (CWM RHONDDA), and I sing:
“Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
…For the facing of this hour;
…For the living these days;
…Lest we miss thy Kingdom’s goal;
…Serving thee who we adore.”
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
May God be with us in the hard questions and the harder answers, that we might have the courage to follow faithfully each and every day. Amen.