Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you… how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him? —Matthew 7:7
Jesus teaches that it’s okay to ask for what we want and need! Not only is it okay, he encourages us to ask because, like any loving parent, God wants to give us good things. Notice that it is “good” things that God wants to provide for us. Maybe a brand-spanking-new sports car isn’t the “good” thing God wants to give because there is something better God wants us to have, something that will be more life-giving or deep-down fulfilling than that car.
Believing that God wants to give us good things might be an impetus to listen to our hearts for the desires beneath our desires when we are praying. For example, maybe someone is praying to lose ten pounds. Jesus doesn’t find fault with that prayer but insists that God wants to give us something good, and even better. Maybe what God wants to offer is something deeper than the desire to weigh less: better health, more energy, a great sense of self-acceptance, and belief that we are beautifully and wonderfully made as we are.
We don’t need to split hairs to decide what it is okay or not okay to ask of God. It is not selfish to ask for healing for ourselves or our loved ones. We’re not out of bounds when we ask to find work, a new place to live, or the healthcare we need. Jesus teaches very clearly that it’s even okay to ask for the sports car or the weight loss. After that, our job is to look for what good thing comes of our asking, even if it’s not in the form that we imagined.
FOR PRAYER: Take some time to listen deeply in your heart for what you most desire right now, then ask God for it with boldness and trust.