Summary: How do you ask God for things?
As you know, this Lord’s Prayer is all part of what we know as the Sermon on the Mount. Just a few verses from where we are here… Jesus says something else about prayer. In chapter 7:7-11, He says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Then He gives us an illustration. He says, “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? 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?” If we, even though we’re fallen creatures… if we know how to give our kids good things when they ask… how much more so Jesus gives good things when we ask Him. Well, I don’t know how things work in your house. But I know how they work in mine. In my house, HOW you ask for something has a lot to do with whether you’re going to get it or not. And there are all kinds of things that factor into it. The mood of the one being asked has a lot to do with it. When Miranda is going through the bills is not the right time for me to tell her about this great set of theology books that are on sale. When I’m staring at a blank computer screen, trying to get up a sermon isn’t the right time for the kids to ask me for something. Thank God that He isn’t moody. Thank God that He isn’t too busy or distracted to hear our requests. Thank God that He doesn’t give us stones when we ask for bread or serpents when we really need fish. But in my house, not only does the mood of the one being asked have a lot to do with it… the attitude of the one who’s doing the asking does too. If I go in to Miranda while she’s doing the bills and tell her about this great set of books on sale… and she looks at me with that look that says, “gas and lights and groceries and kids—and now you want more books?” If she looks at me like that and I put my foot down and give her the whole, “man of the house” speech… how do you think that’s going to go over? I might get the books, but that’s about it. If I do that, my attitude in asking has really messed up our relationship. By the same token, if my kids come to me with the whole, “But Dad… all the other kids get to do it…” What is that going to do to me? You can ask them… they’ll tell you! If that is their attitude in asking, there is no way they’re going to get what they’re asking for. And then they’re mad and I’m mad. They’re pouting and I’m fuming. Our relationship is damaged. All because they didn’t consider HOW they were asking for something. As we’ve gone through this lesson that Jesus is teaching us on how to pray… this is the first time when we get to ask for something. This is our fourth week of looking at this prayer and this is the first time. And now that Jesus finally gets to the part where we get to ask for something, He gives us verse 11. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Now, we’ve all probably said that line many times. But that line tells us HOW we’re supposed to ask God for things. It tells us what our attitude is supposed to be when we approach the creator of the universe with a request. So, how do you ask God for things? This short verse—7 words in the KJV, 8 in the original… this short verse gives us four attitude checks when asking for things in prayer. Your first attitude check is to seek the supplier of your needs.