“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 good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11)!
Those who see prayer as begging, also see God as a Divine miser who doesn’t want to give anything away without getting something in return. First, they say we must “beg” so that we get God’s attention. Second, they say we must “beg” to demonstrate our sincerity, and third, we must “beg” to recognize He is the “gift-giver.”
Prayer was not merely a religious soul talking to God in far-away heaven. Jesus said prayer is a child making a request to His father (Mt. 7:11). And Jesus also taught that our prayers always got the loving attention of a kind heavenly Father (Luke 11:11-13). Jesus taught that the success of prayer was based on the access to the Father that He gave to His children (John 17:19; Heb. 4:14-16, 10:19-22).
Abba Father, how awed I am to be Your redeemed child! You astonish me with the goodness of Your gifts, and Your loving attentiveness to the cries of my heart. Help my desires to flow from the heart and mind of Jesus, who never did anything He didn’t see You doing and never said anything He didn’t hear first from You. Help me to learn how to desire only what flows from Your heart.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 15, Problems of Seemingly Unanswered Prayer by Elmer L. Towns). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God as the giver of every good and perfect gift (Jas. 1:5, 17). Give thanks for the indescribable gift of his only Son. Confess any times when you have taken God’s gifts to you for granted. Commit yourself to searching Scripture for more knowledge of the “riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us” (Eph. 1:7-8). Ask that your heart’s thirst be quenched and your soul’s hunger be satisfied in God as with the richest of foods (Psalm 63).
Pray that your congregation may have faith that “you will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion” (2 Cor. 9:11).
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