Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ask God Specifically in Your Prayers

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 ESV)

Lately, as I share my job search with people, I keep hearing the same theme in their responses.  The theme is 'ask specifically.'  No one has said that God will give me exactly what I want, but rather, I should be bold enough to speak my desires to the Lord.  That is part of a good relationship isn't it?  Think if your children never asked for a specific Christmas or birthday present.  Isn't part of the joy at those moments watching your kids open up a gift and find the exact thing they asked for.

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!  (Matthew 7:9-11 ESV)

I am trying to narrow down exactly what I am looking for in my next job.  One reason why I have hesitated to do this is because I am afraid I won't get what I want.  However, as I write and reread that last sentence, my lack of faith is revealed to me.  What do I have to fear?  Jesus is a good God who cares for his children; he will not give me something for no reason.  His works are always for my joy - if I have eyes to see.

If I do not get what I asked for, it does not negate the goodness of God.  On the contrary it confirms it, because it shows that my wants were not his wants for me, and he refuses to give me something that is not ultimately for my good.

"If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." (C.S. Lewis)
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