"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
The sermon today by Pastor Steere hit a nerve. Usually, sermons about prayer do. For me, prayer is of utmost importance in my spiritual walk. There have been times in my life that, without the ability to prayer, I am not sure I would have "made it".
I've heard/read this Luke 11 passage many times, but I've never really stopped to think about verse 13. Thus, the reason that prayer is so important to me. I struggle with reading the words, but expressing myself in prayer comes a little easier. The struggle for many, as Pastor Steere mentioned, is that the root of prayer is the acknowledgement of helplessness!
As we have just finished the Christmas season, we know we sacrificed to give our children some nice things that they asked for. Maybe some families sacrificed more than others, but as parents, we wanted to make it special. Verse 13 emphasizes that we are evil and know how to give good gifts - just think about how much more our heavenly Father can give if we would just ask!!
Why do we have to ask when God knows what we need? Because he has chosen for it to be that way! We are incurably self-centered and independent creatures, therefore, God wants us to ask. We need to learn humility and dependence on Him. And acknowledge our helplessness - AND ASK!!!!
Sometimes, we will receive gifts we did not ask for. Sometimes, we will ask and God will not answer right away to teach us perseverance. And, sometimes, he answers in a different way because his plan is perfect.
But - God's love is so deep, he gives us the best gift of all when we ask for it - HIMSELF!
So, ask big.