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Prayer & the Golden Rule

`”Why does it end like that?” We were reading Matthew 6:7-12. It is a familiar passage about prayer; “Ask”, “Seek”, and “Knock”. We have often heard it taught as being persistent in prayer but the question about why this passage ends with “The Golden Rule” seems alien to this usual interpretation.

I never ask inanimate objects for help or for answers. I want to ask a person! I get frustrated when a telephone inquiry winds up in looped conversation with an answering machine. When I want to look for help or answers I seek out a person. When I knock on a door I am hoping a person answers (except for my days doing ‘cold calls’ when I always hoped that no one was home).

The passage isn’t really about prayer but about its object. The person we are asking, seeking, and knocking for is the Good, Good, Father. That’s who he is. He does not withhold those good things from his children.

The ending with the ‘Golden Rule” is a reminder that we are to become like the one we worship. We are to become people who dole out to others the grace, mercy, and kindness we expect from our Father. When we enter his presence through asking, seeking and knocking we are to be transformed into his likeness and so treat others as we have been treated. In his epistle John puts it this way, “We love because he first loved us.”

I got a call this morning from a Street Hope friend. He has long been a part of our circle but fallen away several times. He called to tell me that he had prayed with a friend and asked Jesus to be his Lord and manager. I rejoiced with him! He has real hope that things will be different for him this time. I am so glad that he wanted to let me know of his decision.

Hope is our business and it is a joy to see embers of hope fanned into flame. We need most of all to be rescued from our seemingly hopeless state.

Last Saturday we had our Shalom Saturday. It was not as well attended as others but it was marked by the depth and intimacy of the sharing. One member commented afterward that it was the best one so far.

No two weeks are the same but we see the Good, Good, Father at work in our midst each day. We are loved by him, that’s who we are. So let’s share the love. That’s why the passage ends with the Golden Rule!




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