9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-12 NIV)
God wants us to bring our petitions to him. He promises to answer our prayers. But does he promise to give us everything as if it were an itemized list?
The examples we have in verses 11 and 12 assure us that God will give us only good gifts. Therefore, it follows that if we ask for something that is not good for us, he might give us an answer that is not what we thought we wanted, but something better or more appropriate.
The important thing to take away from these verses is that God wants to give us what we ask, and he wants us to ask. We can ask with confidence knowing that whatever God gives us is what is best for us.
Verse 12 ends with the words “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” I believe Jesus is reminding us that the Holy Spirit is the best gift of all, and he will give us eyes to recognize how he is answering our prayers when the answer seems unexpected at first.
Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green
(Ask and you will receive – kid’s version: http://honeycombkids.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/ask-and-you-will-receive/ )
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.