Thursday, August 5, 2010

Week 6, Day 4 - What To Pray For

Matthew 7:6-12

I am nearing the end of my study on prayer and I wanted to look at what we can ask for. Jesus never really told us point blank, “You can ask for this but not that,” but He did give us some ideas that God has discernment so when we ask for something that would not be good for us He will not give it to us. There have been many times that I did not receive what I asked for, and looking back it is a good thing I didn’t receive it! Maybe my motive was wrong, or it just would not have been good for me to have what I was asking for. Either way, God being a good Father, knew what was best for me. Jesus taught us that we can ask for good things. Please look up Matthew 7:6-12.

Even though verse 6 seemed to be a part of the other section of scripture, I feel it leads in very well to the rest of the verses I am looking at. Verse 6 tells us not to throw “pearls to pigs,” which is a phrase we still use today: “Pearls before swine.” When Jesus used this phrase it is important to remember that pigs were considered an unclean animal and we were not to teach holy concepts to people who do not want to listen or to give good things to people who do not care. Jesus then tells us to ask and it will be given to us and talks about how our Father in heaven knows how to give us good gifts. Then I came to a question: why did Jesus mention the “Golden Rule” at the end of all that? I think it is important to know because everything Jesus says in the Bible is relevant and is put in certain spots for a reason. Please turn to John 15:7 and see what Jesus says there (this will be familiar to you if you followed along with me and studied the Fruit of the Spirit). We need to remain in Jesus to receive good gifts we ask for. How do we remain in Jesus? Look down a few verses to John 15:9-10. So our command is to love others as we love ourselves and then we can ask!

I want to pull these points together in a summary. God is not going to give good things to those who are not following His commands (Matthew 7:6) but He will give good things to those who are in Christ and ask for them. I want to point out something that we need to consider; God is only going to give good gifts. When we are in Him and following His commands, we will be asking for good things from Him and our motives will be good. If we ask for revenge, we are really not loving others and it is not a good gift. If we ask God to help us forgive, it is a good gift. As God works on our hearts and changes us, what we feel we need changes. That is a good gift!

Do you love others? Are you asking for good gifts?

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