Summary: Prayer is the divinely ordained channel through which God gives His children all the good things He designs for our benefit and blessing. God is far more willing to give than we are to ask.
HOW MUCH MORE
Often we develop the mistaken attitude that prayer and particularly persistent prayer is the means by which we wrest from God the things which He does not really want us to have. Quite the contrary is true.
Prayer is the divinely ordained channel through which God gives His children all the good things He designs for our benefit and blessing. God is far more willing to give than we are to ask.
He is more willing to answer prayer than we are to meet the conditions under which He can answer prayer.
Using the analogy of the relationship of children to an earthly father, our Lord teaches us that our relationship to God as His dear children will provoke a much quicker and greater response to our pleas than that gained from an earthly parent.
In the HOW MUCH MORE we see the WILLINGNESS OF GOD TO ANSWER PRAYER.
Using the illustration of a human father, imperfect as he is, Jesus compares how much more wonderful is our Heavenly Father.
It is a reasoining from the less to the greater. If godly parents respond to the cries of need from their children, what may we expect from Him who is supremely excellent and kindly inclined unto His children?
In knowledge, in wisdom, in benevolence, in power, in resources, our heavenly Father infinitely surpasses all earthly parents, and therefore we may petition Him with the fullest assurance that He will supply all our need. What conclusive reasoning is this! What persuasive appeal is here!
"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?" (vv. 9, 10). He bids us ponder the conduct of earthly parents. Does a godly father deliberately mock his son when a reasonable request is made of him?
As the child trusts his parent, so must you your heavenly Father. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?"
"What man is there of you ,whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?" Do you know a loving father that would do that? The bread that they used was a little kind of a pale flour, just a little round thing. It looked like the same exact as those little limestones that you find on the shoreline of Israel. A father could deceive his child. “Father, I need just the basics of life -- bread.” Would a loving father give him a little rock? The answer is, "Of course not."
“If he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent?” A fish was a clean animal, according to ceremonial law, and a fish could be eaten. But a serpent was and unclean animals. They could not be eaten. He’s not going to give his an unclean animal.
Some people have the mistaken idea that this means a snake that would bite him. No, the assumption is that it’s cooked. Cooked snakes don’t bite. The idea is the uncleanness of it.
A father will not purposely deceive his son. He will not purposely defile his son.
He won’t purposely destroy his son, either. And Luke 11:12 adds the fact that if his son asks for an egg, will he given him a scorpion? Scorpions in that part of the world are large, and when they tuck their legs and their claws underneath and sleep, they look exactly like an egg from the top. If the son asks his father for an egg, is his father going to give that which not only deceives him and defiles him, but destroys him? No father would do that.
Well, verse 11 says, "If ye, then, being evil," do that much out of a sense of parental love, "then how much more shall your Father give good things to them that ask Him."
So much of the problem of persistent, believing prayer is found right here: we have a low view of God as Father.
I. God is more willing to answer prayer because of His Character.
A. Earthly parents are inherently evil - "if ye then, being evil’.’
The ruin of sin rests upon us everyone - Rom. 5:12
B. If sinful parents give bread instead of stones and fish instead of serpents, HOW- MUCH MORE shall your Father which is in heaven give ?
God is inherently good.
The Lord is good!
Psalms 107:1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
II. God is more willing to answer prayer because of His Capability.
A. Earthly parents according to their ability provide for their children.