Luke 11:1-2a, 11-13 - Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." And He said to them, ... "What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
I don't know about you, but in the back of my mind, sometimes, I hear a little doubtful voice saying to me, "What if I pray for this and it turns out to be the wrong thing? What if God hears me and gives it to me, and then something terrible happens? Maybe I should stop praying." I've heard others worry out loud about this. And of course we've all heard the fairytales where people wish for something and it turns out to be their worst nightmare!
Jesus reassures us. He says, "What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?" The answer is obvious. If the child asks for good, any sane, decent father will give him what is good. In the same way, if we ask for good, God will give us what is good.
And we can take Jesus' analogy one step farther, too. What if a child asked for a snake or a scorpion, because he was too little to understand those were bad things? Would a good father give his child the evil thing he asked for?
No, of course not. We would not do that. We would say "no" to the child, and give him something good instead. And God is far better than we are. We can pray with confidence, knowing that God will give us the good thing we ask for—or do something that is better in the long run.
We can be sure of this because we know God's character. What is He like? The Bible tells us that Jesus is the image of the invisible God (see Colossians 1:15). And Jesus Himself tells us, "Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9b).
So what do we know about Jesus? We know what we see in the Gospels. We see Him healing and helping the poor, the needy, the hurting. We see Him teaching so that everyone has a chance to know God. And we see Jesus willingly going to betrayal, suffering, and death on a cross, because He knows the result of His suffering will be life, hope, and forgiveness for all of us—all of us confused, troubled sinners. The Savior who laid down His life for us and then rose from the dead—how should we not trust Him with all of our wants, hopes, and fears? He will care for us well.
WE PRAY: Dear Savior, You know what is best for me. Help me to pray, and give me what is best. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When has a child trusted you to give them something good?
2. What kinds of things do you ask God for?
3. When you don't know what to ask, how does the Holy Spirit help you? See Romans 8:26 for ideas.
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