“How much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:11)
You know, sometimes we treat prayer as if it’s a trip to a casino. You know, pop in your prayer request, pull the lever and see what happens. Sometimes we win things like a new job, get a healing or some unexpected blessing. However, more often than not, we are just yanking at the lever and just waiting to see what might happen. Kind of making God like the powerful casino owner who occasionally gives you a payout just to keep you coming back for more.
The thing is, God doesn’t look at any of us with the kind of calculating eyes that a businessman does. In fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. He looks upon us with the love of a Father. God is solely committed to helping us become the best possible version of ourselves. This means that we need to understand that if we don’t get what we ask for, it is not because He is cruelly withholding it or punishing us. It is because His plan for our lives doesn’t end with the earthly riches we might be asking for. Instead what He has planned for each of us is much deeper and more persistent sense of fulfillment. His plan and His intentions may not always be really clear to us, however, we can be confident that they are far better than any ideas we may come up with on our own. We need to find a way to trust in that truth.
Sure we can ask God for anything we think that we need, even for things we just want. God accepts each and every prayer that we breathe, because that means it gives Him another opportunity for us to be in His presence and for Him to shape us. Each and every time that we come to Him in prayer, He gently and gradually tries to show us what we really need in our lives, what our hearts truly cry out for. When we pray we bring Him our desires, hopes and dreams, and He transforms them. He shifts our priorities and our preoccupations and this helps us to learn how to long for the things that are truly good for us.
God is not going to condemn us for being selfish or even greedy. After all, He sent Christ not to condemn but to save. We are so very precious to Him and He wants nothing more than to make all of us happy. Really and truly happy!
“Lord, you have given me so many good things. I am so grateful for the way you provide for me and watch over me. Jesus, I trust in you!”
Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8
During this journey we are traveling with You, this Lent, let us learn what prayer really is.
Teach us Lord that even though You will not condemn us for some of our selfish ways, sometimes even in prayer, help us to see that prayer is far more than just an occasional act of asking for our needs and wants.
Instead, help us to come to the realization that prayer is the way to opening up the door to communicating with You.
It gives us the chance to grow closer to You and it brings us to Your loving arms where You want us to be.