Can I Assume How God Will Answer my Prayers?
“Mommy, can you buy me a new bike?”
It was a simple question asked by my daughter. I argued that she didn’t need a new bike; her old bike was fine.
“But the chain keeps falling off and the back brake doesn’t work.” Not only does she want a new bike, she has stated her case that she needs one.
“I saw one for sale at a garage sale last weekend. Maybe they still have it.” She implored me to look into this.
What my daughter didn’t know is that her dad and I had already given consideration to a new bike for her birthday, and we had our eyes set on a beautiful red bike from a department store.
“Please, please Mommy. Can you buy me that bike?” Her pleas turned into whines.
I wanted to say Yes, but I didn’t want to give away the surprise. I wanted to say, Yes, but I wanted to buy her a brand new bike, not a garage-sale special.
When I said, “Let me think about it,” she heard, “No.”
I love my daughter and would do nothing to cause her pain. I couldn’t wait to see the look of surprise and joy on her face the morning of her birthday as we wheeled her shiny red bike into her bedroom. I couldn’t wait to hear the squeals of excitement and watch her jump out of bed to try to ride her new bike down the hall.
But as I bit my tongue to contain my own excitement, she read this as setting my jaw against a new bike.
What gave her the idea that I would deny her something she not only wanted, but also needed? Had I not taken care of her and given her all that she was in need of? Didn’t I show her my love through my words as well as my actions? Why would she doubt me now?
I can imagine God asking the same questions of me. He has never denied me my needs. He has always taken care of me. He shows me His love through His actions as well as in His Word. So why do I doubt Him?
When I take a prayer to God, sometimes I doubt that He will answer me. Many times I assume that His answer will be “No”. But is this fair? God is a gracious and giving Father. He loves me.
Too many times, I don’t take a request to God because I feel that He may not give it to me. Imagine my daughter not asking for a new pair of shoes because she thinks that I may deny her this. I’d be hurt and offended by such a thought.
Yet I do this to God many times. I make assumptions about how He may answer my prayer and so don’t even ask for it. This must hurt and offend God. He is a God of over-abundance.
I need to remember that He is a loving Father who cares for His daughter.
I need to not make assumptions about how He may react, and ask Him for my needs just as I would want my daughter to ask me.
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion (Luke 11:11–12 NIV)?