My Fitness

Saturday, November 17, 2012

children asking questions

My son is two and a half years old. He can recognize candy and cookies from a mile away. From his earliest tastings he recognized that gooey goodness and has not stopped asking for CANDY! He has unreal expectation that if he simply utters the word it functions as a request that he knows MUST be fulfilled. 

Why do children think the deserve what they want? Why do they think that simply by asking they will get it? And when they don't get it, why do they keep asking over and over?

I don't know the answers to those questions but I believe they offer insight into what Jesus was talking about when he said, "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." (Mark 10:15 ESV) and in the book by James that says, "You do not have, because you do not ask." (James 4:2-3 ESV) Earlier in James he wrote that when you pray, pray knowing that you will receive. 

Our children show us what "child-like faith" means. It means that we ask knowing that we will receive. The idea of not receiving is just not fathomable. And what about when we don't get what we want? 

What about when our kids don't get what they want?

Well, our kids keep asking. And so we should keep asking. Jesus shared the parable of two neighbors. One went to bed and the other showed up knocking on his door asking for bread. The first neighbor, Jesus said, is going to get up and give the man bread just so that he will leave him alone! Have you ever done that with your own child? I know I have.

So we should keep asking our Father in heaven. There is power in the prayer of a righteous person. Jesus says, "ask, and it will be given to you" (Luke 11:19). And in the book of John, he says, "whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:23-24

And what does it mean to "ask in Jesus' name"? That means in accordance to his will. A strange thing happens when you give your life and soul over to God. He begins to change your desires. Sometimes is happens very quickly and sometimes it takes a lifetime. But there is always a change. Asking for things in Jesus' name is asking for his will to be done. 

Prayer is a strange thing. The Lord himself taught us how to pray in Matthew 5:

Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
(Matthew 6:9-13 ESV)

The reciting of the prayer is not the important part. Christ does not want an incantation. There's nothing special about these words in this order except to express an outline and guideline. Pray to Jesus' Father, who is also my Father and yours if you choose to believe. Give him glory by acknowledging the holiness of his name. Proclaim your desire for his kingdom to reign and his will to be done. Ask for what you need, both physically and spiritually. Ask for help in forgiving those who have wronged you. Ask for help whenever faced with a difficult situation that God would deliver you from it. Our lives may not always be easy and pleasant. But persistence will produce patience and you will receive your reward in heaven. Do not despair in difficult times because this life is very short and these present sorrows are nothing in comparison to the coming glories!

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