What if your children were to come to you and ask, “Please daddy, can you please give us our meals today? Can you also please give us some water to drink today? Don’t forget also to please give us a hug…”
How would you feel? Would you think “Wow! What great kids I have!” I don’t really think so, unless perhaps you are an uncaring parent . . . Instead, you would probably be offended that your own children do not trust you! “What’s wrong with you?” you would say. “Don’t you know I do these things automatically because I love you?”
If we would be offended with these kind of requests from our children, how do you think God feels when we approach Him in prayer and ask Him: “Please God, give me a new job. And please heal me from my disease and please save so and so.” (P.S. There is nothing wrong to ask from God, just like there is nothing wrong when our children ask things from us. The Bible encourages us to do so. However it’s the way of asking that should be analyzed here. Is our way of asking glorifying God?) Let’s review some basic facts about God:
Isn’t it His nature to care for us, to love us, to save us? Doesn’t the Bible say that anyone’s salvation is dear to God? John 3:16-17 “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He will do anything to save you, your friends, and your family! Why approach Him as if He does not even care for anyone’s salvation and that only through your begging will He pay any attention to your friend?
Isn’t it in God’s nature to heal us? The Bible says: Matt 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” Isn’t Jesus “the same yesterday, today and forever”? (see Heb 13:8) Why approach Him as if He does not even care of our well-being. If He didn’t care, begging Him would do no good! And if He cares (like the Bible tell us He is), wouldn’t your begging be a sign that you do not trust Him? And if so, wouldn’t this be an offence to God?
Isn’t it natural for God to answer our pleas? Doesn’t the Bible say Matt 7:9-12 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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!”
But if it is so natural for God to give us good gifts, why don’t we receive them? Is it because our way of asking is showing a lack of trust in our Heavenly Father? Is it because we seem to spent more time ordering God around than listening to His gentle voice? Isn’t it because we are doubting His Word and don’t really believe that Luke 10:19 “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Isn’t faith one of the most important ingredients to a successful prayer life? James 5:15 “The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well…”
Shouldn’t prayer be offered as a worship to God, elevating us to the heavenlies where we can adore our Maker and Saviour? Here is a perfect example of what real prayer is. No wonder that David was considered a friend of God! Ps 103:1-5 “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits– who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” NIV
Prayer should be a form of worship and an acknowledgement of God’s nature. Stand on His promises with thanksgiving. Acknowledge that “Isa 53:5 “by His stripes we are healed.” NKJV Jesus paid for your healing, as well for you salvation 2000 years ago! Isn’t that big rejoicing! The facts of this life may contradict this promise. Stand on God’s truth and believe in it. Soon you will discover that your circumstances are not truth, but that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life.” (see John 14:6)
God never lies. This is one thing He cannot do! He cannot lie! Heb 6:18 “It is impossible for God to lie.” NIV If He made a promise in His Word, stand firm on it, believe it, thank Him for it and watch it become truth in your life.
Remember the principle of thanksgiving. Would you prefer your child to come to you and say “Thank you for always being there for me and for watching me in my baseball practices!” Wouldn’t you naturally ask your child “when is your next baseball practice?” Or would you prefer your child to come to you and say: “Please come to my baseball practice next Thursday. Can’t you come for once?”
Go to God with thanksgiving, my friend. This is showing trust and faith in Him. No wonder the apostle Paul was encouraging the Philippians with the following advice: Phil 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” It was natural for Paul to approach God with thanksgiving in his prayers. See for example 2 Tim 1:3 “I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.” (see also Philem 4; 1 Tim 1:12; 2 Thes 2:13; 2 Thes 1:3; 1 Thes 3:9; 1 Thes 2:13; 1 Thes 1:2; Col 1:3; Phil 1:3; 2 Cor 8:16; 1 Cor 14:18; 1 Cor 1:4; Rom 1:8…)
Jesus is faithful to us and will keep His promises. Heb 3:6 “But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” Believe it, stand firm on this truth.
Then wait on the Lord and watch it happen in your life.
Isa 40:28-31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.” NASU
“Daddy, daddy…” what will you add to these words addressed to your Heavenly Father? Will you add words of trust and thanksgiving? Or do you prefer to make your demands known and your lack of trust? The choice is yours my friend.