Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 2 March (Lent)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 2 March, including a reflection on Matthew 7.7-12 (Lent 1: Thursday)


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Hear our voice, O Lord, according to you faithful love,
according to your judgement give us life.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In the darkness of our sin,
your light breaks forth like the dawn
and your healing springs up for deliverance.
As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help,
sustain us with your bountiful Spirit
and open our lips to sing your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Matthew 7.7-12

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 

‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.’


Jesus said: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.

Today’s reading is often cited as evidence that the gospel message cannot be trusted. Sceptics will say that, no matter how sincere our prayers may be, Jesus’ promise is not true. Those who have no faith will argue that our prayers, even when they are driven by desperate need rather than personal gain, are not answered. In support of these atheistic claims, countless examples of uncured illnesses, personal misfortune and life-changing tragedy will be rolled out as if they are the killer arguments in the matter of prayer. For those who profess a faith in Jesus Christ the arguments of the non-believers make no sense, but the reality of seemingly unanswered prayer lingers on. 

For us to understand something of the conundrum of how prayer is answered we need to read further than the opening words of today’s passage from the Sermon on the Mount. Rather than grasping the easily-remembered and oft-quoted opening of this passage, we need to reflect upon what Jesus goes on to say. When we pray we are asking our Father in heaven to help and support us in our various needs. Like any loving Father, God hears our requests, and then, in his wisdom, he considers how he might best serve our needs. Jesus reminds us that a good parent will not expose their child to danger or disaster by answering some selfish or spur-of-the-moment whim or fancy. They will weigh up the consequences before granting or denying the request. Sometimes they will answer the entreaty of their offspring, but not in an expected way … and that is often the case with God, our Heavenly Father.

God wants us to flourish, and God wants to answer our prayers. But, God wants us to set aside the selfish and the self-obsessed and to concentrate our concerns, our prayers, on the needs of others. God also wants us to understand that his vision of our needs is far broader than our localised and objective perspective. So often Jesus’ promise is fulfilled, but not in the way we expect.

Let us pray that our focus might be on the well-being of others before ourselves. Let us pray that, as we lay our prayers before God, we might be ready to accept his love and his wisdom as he answers those prayers in the unexpected generosity that far exceeds our understanding, or our deserving.


In penitence and faith let us make our prayer to the Father
and ask for his mercy and grace.

For your holy people,
that they may triumph over evil and grow in grace,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For candidates for baptism and confirmation,
that they may live by every word that proceeds from your mouth,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the leaders of the nations,
that you will guide them in the ways of mercy and truth,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the needy,
that they may not be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor be taken away,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the sick in body, mind and spirit,
that they may know your power to heal,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the poor in spirit,
that they may inherit the kingdom of heaven
and see you face to face,
we pray to you, O Lord.

Let us commend the world, for which Christ suffered,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Almighty God,
by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,
and by following in his Way
come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Christ give us grace to grow in holiness,
to deny ourselves, 
take up our cross, 
and follow him;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.