February 12, 2015
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts, unto y our children: how much more shall your heavenly father give the holy spirit to them that ask Him." Luke 11:13
My son has a habit of asking for something over and over again. He is 14 months and at the age where he is pretty much like, "Gimme, gimme, gimme! NOW!" He does not have all the words yet to express himself, but he has enough to tell me what he wants.
When I was a little girl, I used to ask for things over and over again. There were times I'd get a No, so I figured continuing to ask would change the person's heart. There were also times when I would receive a Yes, but I would keep asking. For example, I would ask for a Popsicle. My Great Aunt (who raised me) would say Yes, you can have one after you eat! Okay, I'd say, Thank you. Then I would get impatient. So I would ask again. To this I would receive one of the following answers, "Yes." "I already said yes." And depending on how many times I asked, I'd also get a, "Stop asking or my yes will become a no!"
Fortunately, God does not get tired of us asking. But there is something to think about. Jesus told us whatever we ask the father in His name, we will receive it. So then why do we continue asking after we've already prayed about it? There is something to be said about continuing to pray. In Luke 18:1-8 the persistent widow got what she wanted by not letting up and continuing to ask the judge.
But there is something to be said of our faith when we ask God only once and follow Jesus' example, we believe that we receive it. Then rather than continuing to ask God for what we already have in prayer, we thank Him for it believing we have received it until we do.
Much like my Popsicle. Had I followed the example, I would have said thank you. And gone about my business with the faith and knowledge that I would receive my Popsicle after I ate.
We often pray with an reluctant spirit, as if to say, "Lord, would you do this? But if not...okay, no problem..." If your child asked you for a snack at breakfast time, and you told them, "Yes, you can have one later." How would it look for them to continue asking for one? You've already given the answer. So then, the most sensible response is to say, "Thank you." and move on.
Let's take it a step further, if you request time off from your boss, and they tell you yes. Would you continue asking them to take time off for that same time period? If so, they might have some concerns.
Jesus tells us that we are evil in comparison to God. But we, much like God, love our children. So if our children ask for something, we give it to them. God is so much more holy and wonderful than we will ever be. He is also so much more loving of us than we could be toward our own children. Imagine that. Take all the love you have for your child, multiply it by the biggest known number and cube it. Whatever amount you get doesn't even come close to the amount of love God has for us. So if we as "evil" parents can give our children good gifts, how much more will God give to us who ask Him?
Yes, sometimes we do have to be persistent like the widow in our prayers. But when we ask for something and God says yes, we must learn to be patient. We thank Him, and praise Him as we wait. In the praise and thanksgiving, there is trust. There is trust that God will do what He said He would do. There is trust, because we believe He is able and He will answer our prayers. Finally, there is trust that we need not keep asking Him because He already said Yes!