1. One day Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples approached Him and said, "Lord, please teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
2. So He said to all of them, "All right...when you pray, say something like this: 'Our Father – not My Father…not your Father…but Our Father Who is in the heavenly realm – may Your name be hallowed by us and always kept holy in our collective consciousness...may Your kingdom continue to come to us, and in us, and through us. May Your will be done on earth…in the physical realm…as it is in heaven…in the spiritual realm.
3. Give us – not Me, not you, but us – give us this day, our daily bread…just the provision that we need in the now…no more…no less.
4. Forgive us, collectively, our sins, as we also forgive everyone who sins against us, collectively. And lead us...together...not into temptation.'"
5. Then He said to them, "Imagine that you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, 'Hey, buddy...lend me three loaves of bread.
6. I'm asking because a friend of mine on a journey has come to visit me, and I have nothing to serve him to eat tonight.'
7. And then suppose that your friend answers, 'Go away...don't bother me! The outer door to my front courtyard is already locked, and my entire household, including the children, is in bed. I can't get up right now and give you anything.'
8. Here's the thing...even though he won't get up and give you the bread because of the obligation of your friendship, because of your shameless audacity...your absolute persistence...he will, no doubt, get up and give you as much bread as you need.
9. So I say to you...keep on asking – never stop expressing your desires, or challenging the boundaries of your faith – and it will ultimately be given you. Keep on seeking – never abandon your sense of wonder or your inquisitive interest in the mysterious – and you will ultimately find. Keep on knocking – never believe that your possibilities are exhausted or that your opportunities are finite – and the door will ultimately be opened to you.
10. Do it because everyone in this life who keeps on asking keeps on receiving. And he or she who keeps on seeking keeps on finding. And to him or her who keeps on knocking, doors will continue to be opened.
11. Look...what father is there of you, if his hungry son asks him for a fish, will ignore the request and instead hand him a snake to eat?
12. Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion for dinner?
13. If you then, with all of your potential for evil, know how to give good and beautiful gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in the heavenly realm lavish the Holy Spirit on those who keep making a demand on Him!"