Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?
A freshly-baptized disciple, flush with shameless joy and first-day-on-the-job zeal, popped the question bible teachers relish most – “Hey guys, now that I’m saved… what’s next? Where do we go from here?”
And from that childlike inquiry we sat around a bare table that night immersed, fascinated, and turned on: searching scripture, probing, testifying, teaching, encouraging… and praying!
We noticed it was prayer that intrigued the disciples to ask Jesus – “teach us to pray as John taught his disciples”. And it was from that Luke 11 exchange that Jesus spoke of prayer as ultimate access: a privileged connection to power drawn from the grace-provided relationship of earthly children and their Heavenly Father.
Rhetorically perhaps, but quite pointed nonetheless, Jesus challenged His disciples with logic:
- Do dads give their children a bowl of rocks after they’ve asked for bread?
- Or is there a relationship between dad and child so evil, that when requesting fish for lunch the child is given a serpent?
- Or is there a dad so abusive that the eggs the child asks for breakfast is substituted for a dangerous scorpion?
No, of course not! There’s a natural, loving, caring concern for those we bring into the world! And there’s a committed, compassionate regard for those who depend on us for their survival! Parents have an inherent, preferential association with children that has no rival or equal; and that protective oversight flows freely from the perfect bond of love, a far greater caretaker than the oppressive bondage of mere duty.
Thus, in affirming parental affinity as something commonly expected and nothing beyond what any parent would do, Jesus advanced the natural concept and made the case spiritually for those who would believe on His Name.
If our earthly fathers (dads that have shortcomings, disposition shifts, forgetfulness, errors in judgment, etc), freely and gladly satisfy the basic needs of a child because of a father’s natural love – can we not unquestionably trust our Heavenly Father to give us any, and everything, we need? Is not our Heavenly Father love, itself; a Father birthing us after His own will and Word; a Father beyond error, and a Father who supplies needs from the limitlessness of His own creativity and power? Is not the answer to such questions an absolute, unashamed, did-you-hear-me-clearly, YES! YES! And YES!
Consequently, it’s upon this single, simple, time-honored precept of prayer that a believer’s days on earth are providentially safeguarded.
There is nothing lacking, to those who ask.
There is nothing lost, to those who seek.
There is nothing locked, to those who knock.
Whatever things we desire, when we pray, believe that we receive them, and we will have them!
So to the young man still dripping from his Jordan River experience, to the mature disciple serving faithfully in anticipation of the Lord’s return – faith filled prayers lifted to the Father determines the quality of the believer’s earthy, mortal existence.
Do not earthly fathers address their toddler’s late night fears when he hears strange sounds… especially when they’re under his bed? Yes! How much more then does our Heavenly Father assuage fears eliciting from our troubled, violent, and discordant world!
Do not earthly fathers encourage children to rise and redo, especially after that first bike ride results in an inglorious face plant? Yes! How much more then does our Heavenly Father comfort and instill fresh confidence after our “didn’t go as planned” endeavors!
Think then, of the many scenarios where earthly dads would be welcomed and needed, and from there you can count even more so of our Heavenly Father’s presence!
So, through prayer, let us include the Father’s presence and power in every facet of life, whether in the mundane or in the spectacular.
Petition Him for assurance.
Request of Him wisdom.
Call on Him in trouble.
Persist with Him when He seems unhearing.
Bug Him when you’re uncertain and doubtful.
Cry out to Him when you’re sinking.
Talk to Him when you’re lonely.
Thank Him when He listens. And He does.
Worship Him when you don’t understand.
Praise Him when you do.
Above all, pray.
All the time.
In every way.
At every intersection.
And on the open highway.
Just do it.
And, HOW MUCH MORE will He be everything we need… or desire!