I remember the evening so well. Our little family had traveled to Florida to visit Disney. Our youngest daughter, Keri, had chosen a baby Minnie Mouse to buy with her spending money. Her older sister, Stefanie, felt sure she didn’t want one as she considered herself too old for Minnie Mouse. However, around 9:30 PM, Stef changed her mind. That’s when the tears started flowing. We were leaving early the next morning, so to Stef the circumstances looked dire. However, after we got her tucked in and asleep my husband, Steve, snuck out of our hotel and traveled to three Disney stores, and came home triumphantly with a stuffed Minnie Mouse. The next morning, Stef felt elated!
Parenting experts might say we shouldn’t have given in and instead should have held her to her choice. Perhaps. However, what Steve gave Stef that day was something more than a lesson in life choices. He gave her a tangible glimpse of her heavenly Father’s heart.
One day while teaching on prayer, Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Then He goes on with, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:9, 11-13). Why don’t you circle those words, “How much more?”
In this profound teaching on prayer, we are given a view of the deep love and generosity of Father God.
How much more…
Will He give good gifts to you. God delights to hear our requests and He finds pure joy in answering those requests. James wrote, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). Think for a moment of all the good gifts that God has given you. It can even be helpful to make a list of all the good gifts and answers to prayer that you’ve received. To understand the generous heart of God we need to remind ourselves of all the ways He’s blessed us.
Will He encourage you to ask persistently. Jesus doesn’t get drained by our persistence. He delights in it. Throughout the gospels, Jesus invites us to be persistent and to keep on asking. Why? In the words of author Andrew Murray, “It is in persevering, not unbelieving, but confident praising prayer, that the soul grows that full union with its God.” It is my conviction that we often quit too early. I know some parents who have prayed for their kids’ faith their whole lives. They still don’t see the answers, but they continue praying faithfully. When we press in, pray consistently, and not walk away even when God’s answers disappoint us, our faith is strengthened. It’s not that when God clearly says “no” to some desire of yours, you keep begging for the same thing. It’s that even after God doesn’t answer the way you want, you continue on in a strong, faithful prayer life.
Will He fill you with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would indwell us. As we ask Him for filling, He continually refills us with Himself, providing the wisdom that we need for each day. He is our 24/7 journey mate. What a gift!
Friend, our heavenly Father longs to give you more than you can even imagine! Trust Him and learn to ask audaciously!
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