Jesus’ invitation to make requests of God for good things is truly amazing. He urges us to approach God and receive goodness, in the most emphatic terms. He really means it.
The encouragement to pursue God is backed up with some equally amazing promises – you WILL receive, you WILL find, the door WILL be opened for you. These are stunning words – I don’t think any other deity anywhere offers such accessibility.
Then the promises are backed up with a wonderful illustration. A picture of what God is really like, compared to what we’re really like – just in case we’re tempted to think Jesus is saying these things to be nice!
“Which of you, if his son asked 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!” Matthew 7:7-11
No, Jesus is not suggesting that God simply gives us what we ask for. He is saying emphatically that when we come to God our heavenly Father and ask him for what we need, or ask him for what others need, or ask him anything genuinely, God gives good things. Pray-ers can expect goodness from God. I don’t think there is such an emphatic call to prayer anywhere else in scripture.
Right now people are praying for the Arab world where innocent families are being slaughtered by IS; for the Ukraine where cities and communities are at war over territory; for Hong Kong where pro-democracy protesters are in a standoff with the authorities over the mainland’s new leadership policies; the list goes on and on.
In FEBC we have radio stations and partners in all of these places broadcasting hope and peace in various forms. Please join us in prayer as we ask God for good for these people. Pray for peace and joy, for work and provision. For the radio programmes to advocate powerfully for mercy. For an end to injustice, and for hope in difficult situations. For clear signals that deliver the encouragement and inspiration needed to experience God. And if we ask, He will answer and good will come.