“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?” Matthew 7:7-11 (MSG)


When you were a kid, did you ever “beat around the bush” when you were asking your mom or dad for something? You weren’t sure if they would let you spend the night at a friend’s house, eat dessert before dinner, or play outside until midnight. Instead of directly asking your request, it seemed easier to lead up to the question by sharing lots and lots of reasoning, excuses, or propositions.

When it comes to prayer, God wants us to present our requests to Him honestly and openly.  If we need something, we are simply instructed to ask God. Yet, when it comes to God, we can be tempted to do the same thing as we did with our parents as a kid. We ask a vague request about something, almost reluctant, thinking that God is going to give us the worst possible option. We imagine that if we submit our lives to God then it equals a one way ticket to Africa. For some it might, but for others, it equals a ticket to minister to the people around you today.  From this verse in Matthew, God loves to give good gifts to his children. It would seem that He delights in giving as much as we delight in receiving.  If we believe that God is interested in giving good gifts, it changes how we view God. No, God is not going to answer “yes” to every request or become the year-round Santa, but if He gives good gifts, then we can rest assured that our God is good.  No matter what circumstance, tragedy, trial, or celebration that you are experiencing today, trust that God will bring good about in your situation simply because of His character.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.