True prayers, Part I: Ask and Ye Shall Receive

coldsassytree_cover.gifAbout three years ago my wife read the novel Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns and pointed out a passage that astounded me at the time.

Why? Because in all my years of church-going and sermon-listening, I’d never heard a more intelligent, inspiring, and helpful explanation of what Jesus meant when he said, “Ask and ye shall receive.”

sassy_quote_all_tn.jpgThis kind of ‘asking’ prayer, when done correctly, ‘works’ every time, even if you’re an athiest. I’ll explain more later.

In the passage, Grandpa (Rucker) is talking to his newlywed, Miss Love. The narrator is the young grandson. (Pages 361-364 or click the image thumbnail for a screenshot.)

Click to play. 5 min, 30 sec. (I used my best southern twangy voice to record the passage, since that’s how the text is written.)

My question: Who are the ministers in Northfield who would agree 100% with Grandpa Rucker’s interpretation of Jesus’ words, “Ask and ye shall receive”?


  1. In my view, God has already given us everything we need, including food. I can tell you about vast southern forests filled with acorns, and sage, and pine needles and carrots and all sorts of edible roots and more…don’t laugh, people can and do live off the land even today. God’s gifts are there, if only we open ourselves to them.

    As for healing, the same is also true. Many healthful, healing remedies are not only found in the forests, plains, deserts and oceans, but are widely used in industrialized medicine today. God’s gifts.

    The prayer allows for hope, the hope allows for being open to solutions, the solutions are God’s gifts. If you pray for a Cadillac, you might get a nice Chevy, but if you have faith and acceptance that you got what you need and then some, you’ll be just as happy. Then, you’ll realize that the Cadillac is just a more expensive vehicle to insure and repair! God’s gift.

    When I pray for my parents to come alive, they don’t start walking around the place, but the good memories I have of them come to the fore, and that nourishes me and then I spread their ideas around, and my parents live for me and others.

    By now you might be praying I would end this. God’s gift.

    November 11, 2010

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