Are We Asking for the Wrong Thing?

Text: Luke 11:13
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!’ (NRSV)

Today’s verse comes at the end of a section of Luke on prayer.  The disciples have asked Jesus to teach them how to pray and Jesus responds with the model prayer.  Next, Jesus tells a parable about God being ready and willing to give to those who ask, search, and knock.  And finally, Jesus tells a parable about God being more than ready to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.

It is easy to think of these parables as talking about God giving you whatever you ask for, but that is not really the plain meaning of these parables.  The climax of the parables seems to be that God is ready and willing to give to anyone who asks, the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps I am so caught up with the things of this world that I think what is most important are things.  And so, I find myself asking God to provide me with material possessions when the good gift that God knows I need and wants so badly to give me is not material at all but, the Holy Spirit.

I think this lines up with what Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-33.  Don’t worry about food and drink, don’t worry about clothing; your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Perhaps we are asking for all the wrong things.  Perhaps we need to focus on the gift of the Holy Spirit and the rest will come, God knows what we need and will provide us with the best if we will simply give ourselves over to his care.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of all good gifts forgive me when I want the things that I do not really need, and I do not open myself to the gift that you want for me.  Prepare my heart to receive the gift of your Holy Spirit that I might live the life of abundance and joy.  AMEN.

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