When I ask, I receive.
Jesus advises us to "ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
I ask for just enough money to pay my bills, put food on the table for my four-legged Bichon Frise, Woofie, and me.
For health, for God's will in my life, and how to spend the limited time God gives on this earth.
For all of that I ask, and, in reflection over time, I discover that God answers prayer.
We're assured in the scriptures that God knows well how to "give the Holy Spirit to those who ask."
It's when I forget to ask that I grow weary, doubtful and despairing.
And, in a culture when independency seems to rule, asking may be something I refuse to do. After all, "I'm an American, I can do it myself, thank you."
The other day in prayer, I asked God to help me to know how to serve amid volumes of violence daily, injustices all around us, and a sense of helplessness to assist in the change of hearts that it will take to revisit the "I Have a Dream" speech and march that fascinated this Nation 50 years ago August 28, 1968.
That day, a clergyman stood up and steered a march on Washington, D.C., for quality health care, education, housing, and more for the most vulnerable among us.
In my wrestling with God these days in prayer, I find myself staking everything on God's future for the world today.
And, I engage the imperatives in Luke's Gospel today.
"Hallowed be," is an imperative. It is not something we do, but, rather that God does through us.
"Your kingdom come," is an imperative. We are ordered to tell God to bring on God's dominaton-free order.
We can demand our daily bread from God.
I can insist that I be forgiven and safe from temptation.
Alone at home, or here with others in Holy Communion, I can let the imperatives begin!
May the imperative force be with you!