Lord, You are infinitely and unimaginably strong, righteous, good, wise and loving. Although we desperately need you, we confess that we don’t come to you as we ought. You extend to us the greatest invitation in the world – to feast at your banquet table – but we come up with all sorts of excuses for why we can’t accept it . Therefore, awaken effectual inclinations in us to pray.
Sometimes we feel so close to you that we can just ask you for things. Other times, however, you seem distant so we must seek you. There are also times when you seem behind closed doors. Yet no matter how close or far you may seem, you promise to hear our asking, reward our seeking and answer our knocking: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” .
You keep these promises because we come to you through Jesus, who died to give us acceptance by and access to you. He has given us the right to become your children . Therefore, although we may feel shy or unworthy to pray, Christ removes our timid doubts  and reminds us that we are coming to our Father, who always gives us good things: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” . Therefore, Lord, we turn to you and not another to hear us and give us good things – whether that means that you give us what we ask or something better than what we ask. Your will, not ours, be done.
We take you at your word. Although we may not fully understand how you answer our prayers, we trust your promises. Therefore, we pray. We ask, seek and knock, because we long for your unending goodness to come to us, our families, our church, our nation and our world. Let us, therefore, make new and fresh commitments to set aside time for prayer alone and together, knowing that you invite us to your banquet table that is full of eternal blessings for your great name’s sake. Amen.
 See Luke 14:18-20. |  Matthew 7:7-8 ESV |  See John 1:12. |  Martin Luther. The Sermon on the Mount, translated by Jaroslav Pelikan, Vol. 21 of Luther’s Works, [Concordia, 1956], p.234.) |  Matthew 7:7-11 ESV | [FN] For additional reflection on asking, seeking and knocking see John Piper, Ask Your Father in Heaven (31 December 2006).