#DailyDevotion What Our Father In Heaven Is Not Like When We Pray or How We Should Pray?
11: 5“Suppose one of you has a friend,” Jesus said to His disciples, “and you go to him at midnight and ask him, Friend, lend me three loaves. A friend of mine on a trip has dropped in on me, and I have nothing to serve him.’ Will he answer from within, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything?’ 8I tell you, although he won’t get up and give you anything even though he’s your friend, yet because you persist, he’ll get up and give you anything you need. 9“So I tell you: Ask and it will be given to you. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you. 10Anyone who asks receives; anyone who searches finds; and anyone who knocks, the door will be opened for him. 11“If your son asks you, his father, for a fish, will any of you give him a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will you give him a scorpion? 13Now if you, wicked as you are, know enough to give your children good gifts, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
So what is the God who answers your prayers, prayed with faith in Jesus’ name not like? What kind of pray-er ought you to be when you approach your heavenly Father? Those are questions Jesus answers in these verses.
I really have to laugh every time I read these verses. It’s like Jesus says to himself, “What kind of bad example can I use to compare my Father with so they can know what he is really like?” The first bad example is the friend in bed at midnight. You of course are the fellow who had another friend drop in on you. You have nothing. You go to your other friend for help. Well, the dude is an ok guy, but seriously, it’s midnight. He’s not getting up for nothing. He’s in bed. Yet Jesus says, he will give you whatever you want because of your shameless boldness in keeping on pestering him. Your Father in heaven is not like the guy in bed. He never sleeps or slumbers. You however be like the friend asking for help. Go to your Father in heaven with shameless boldness. Pray like your really pestering God. Your Father in heaven will give you what you need because he loves you, not because he wants to get rid of you. Quite the opposite, he wants you to pester him, come to him with greater shameless boldness trusting he will provide you all you need.
To encourage such shameless, bold, pestering prayer Jesus adds these famous promises, ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened to you. Do you want to call Jesus a liar? Of course not! So pray like you believe these words are true, because they are.
Finally he holds us evil fathers as an example of what our heavenly Father is like. Even we wicked evil fathers give to our children good things when we ask of them. Our Father in heaven is not going to give us something that is harmful to us. He doesn’t answer bad prayers with yes to teach us a lesson. No!
Instead what does Jesus say? Our Father gives us the Holy Spirit when we ask him. Now the parallel passage in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount Jesus says he gives good things. Well you can expect any better good thing than the Holy Spirit. Now Jesus isn’t saying the Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask for the Holy Spirit (though that would be true) but when we pray, when we asks for stuff he gives us the Holy Spirit. As Paul says in Romans 8, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. The Holy Spirit when we pray, takes our prayers and conforms them to the will of the Father and the Father answers yes. What else would the Father say to the Holy Spirit. The Father is able to answer our prayers better than we can ask or imagine. Since we don’t always pray the way we ought, the Spirit intercedes for us. Thanks be to God!
Heavenly Father, give us the Holy Spirit and faith that when we pray, we pray according to your will and when we miss the mark, may the intercession ask for all good things for us according to your will what we should have asked for. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.