Their pride and joy was about 2 years old at the time and learning to speak. His dad was from Massachusetts and his mom from Brazil, but they were living in East Texas. The poor little guy didn’t know what accent to choose.
His mother was determined, however, to make sure that he learned the language of her heart. So, she taught him Portuguese potty-training vocabulary which included “coco” the word used for bowel movement.
One fine day she went to the gym and left her little guy in childcare. He had to go – so he found the girl in charge and frantically repeated, “coco, coco!”
She got him a cup of hot chocolate. (and you know the rest of the story)
It is frustrating to ask for something but get something else. “I ordered a cheeseburger, but this looks like a sneezeburger.” “Their web site pictured a scarf of aqua blue. They sent me awkward blue instead.”
Some suspect that God is as careless with our requests. Jesus discussed the problem in
Matthew 7. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.“ (7)
He used three words – all synonyms for prayer: Each is a command with the force of a continuing experience. See prayer is something that you do repeatedly – continually. The sequence of the verbs increases in their intensity
Picture a girl standing before heaven speaking through the door, “Lord, I am just not able to love my enemy. The guy is horrible. Will You help me?”
Her asking becomes seeking – looking for a key. She looks under the rock and above the door frame. There is determination in her manner.
She finally pounds on the door, “Please, please God. I desperately need your help to succeed. Won’t you open up and help me?”
Now – as to why we must approach God like this – Jesus doesn’t say. He just says that we are to pray in this way – persistently, deliberately, and passionately – like we really mean it.
He knows that we tend to lose heart in our prayers. (Luke 18:1)
Then the good news. “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (8) When we pray with persistence, the answer comes into existence.
But then Jesus gets a little silly. He asks, “Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? (9-10)
In Jesus’ day, bread was rolled thin and then baked on a flat hot stone. The finished product didn’t look much different from the stone on which it was baked. But what kind of dad would hand the stone to his trusting toddler to watch him grind his teeth on the rock?
And how could a dad offer his boy a bite of fish, and then watch as the alleged fish took a bite out of him? The answer was, “No one would do that!”
He continued, “If you then, although 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!” (11)
So much for tact! Jesus called us evil! Well OK, my thought processes are not always wholly righteous – this is true, BUT I am going to do the right thing by my kids.
And the Father, who is all together righteous is going to do fabulously better by His.
He gives good gifts to those who ask Him. Not inferior or harmful gifts or gifts from the clearance shelf or gleaned from the overstock store. He gives good gifts – the best gifts – the very things that we seek.
He makes sure that there are no teeth shattering stones or toxic serpents among them.
Yes, at times, He may use His discretion because sometimes we ask for stones and serpents and don’t know it. And we can be sure that what He gives, we will eventually treasure.
So, go ahead and “Ask and it will be given to you.” Whether you do it in English or Portuguese!
A PRAYER: Lord forgive my prayer tweets and help me to pray with purpose!
The Scripture references from the NET Bible ®