19 May 2014

Luke 11:1-13

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” (v. 9)


The disciples recognised the importance of prayer in Jesus' life so they asked him to teach them to pray. It is unfortunate that this teaching, as recorded here, can be misused. Jesus is not promising that God will grant all our desires, nor is he indicating that the giving is a reward for persistent faith. 'Ask', 'seek' and 'knock' are said in the context of the whole gospel (good news of Jesus) and the realisation of the kingdom of God that was central to Jesus' teachings. The door on which we are to knock is the door of the kingdom. If this is the context in which we pray, then we can pray with confidence. God will give, as does a wise and loving parent.

What we are promised is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The most important reason to pray is to receive the assurance of the abiding presence of God, and this God can and does provide to those who ask. We ask and search and knock in order to open the door of our hearts and minds to the gift of the Holy Spirit.

To Ponder

  • When you pray, what are you searching and asking for?
  • How helpful do you find the Lord's Prayer in your personal and corporate devotions?
  • How would you describe the place of prayer in your life?

Bible notes author

The Revd Nicola Price-Tebbutt

Nicola Price-Tebbutt is a presbyter in the Methodist Church. She has previously served in circuit in Sheffield and as a tutor at Hartley Victoria College in Manchester.