“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him 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. Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:7–12 CSB)
When he was in elementary school, my son Adam really wanted a trampoline. For a school writing assignment, he was encouraged to write a letter to his mother and myself sharing his rationale for why he should have one. We were really impressed with what he wrote, and I guess the teacher was, too: he got a great grade. We bought the trampoline for him. He was ecstatic, and it was a blessing to see him not just super excited upon receiving the gift but joyfully bouncing up and down on it!
Most parents, upon hearing about a passionate desire from their children, one that will not get them hurt or in trouble, delight in giving what they ask for as they are able. Jesus highlights this in Matthew 7 as He uses this truth to teach something even more profound. He notes that if we as parents who are evil(!) know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more God the Father, who is pure, holy, and good?
As followers of Christ – with longings and desires, fears and expectations – do we acknowledge this aspect of the character of God?
When we approach God with requests, is our posture one of expectation?
Surely when we make requests of God out of greed or self-interest we have a reason to pause. His will for us is always for the good. But wouldn’t the God who loves us be just as delighted to see a smile on our face from a gift He gives us as we are when we do the same for our children? If this is true, shouldn’t we approach the throne room with confidence as we make our requests known to God?
Let us have faith in the character of God – faith that He wants to bless us – and let that faith fuel a fervent and frequent posture of prayer. Andrew Murray wrote, “Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian.”