Thursday, July 21, 2011
Thank you to Helen Harms, Assistant to the bishop of the WV/W MD Synod for sharing this devotion.
Immeasurably More Than We Ask
The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?: So she went to inquire of the Lord.
Rebekah’s prayer was for her own life and that of her babies. Yet her prayer resulted in giving birth to two great leaders and all their descendants. She asked God for only a penny but obtained a mountain of gold-something she hadn’t hoped for or dared to believe. She kept her prayer modest and reasonable, and she was willing to be satisfied with small favors.
We too are in the habit of praying for trivial and insignificant things. When we pray, we don’t take into account the great majesty of God. If God wanted to give us only petty and superficial things, he wouldn’t have given us such a magnificent model for prayer: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come . . .” God has plenty of resources, and he’s not a tightwad. He generously offers us the best gifts available in heaven and on earth. He expects that we will ask him for many things and that we will sincerely believe we will get what we request. When we receive what we ask for in the Lord’s Prayer, we are, in effect, receiving heaven and earth and everything they contain. For when we ask for God’s name to be kept holy, for his kingdom to come, and for his will to be done, we are overpowering countless devils and engulfing the whole world with one prayer.
Because we are so narrow-minded and have such weak faith, we should carefully note how God answered Rebekah’s prayer. God isn’t content to provide us with a small amount even if we only ask for a little. He prefers to give us “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:30). (Vol. 4, p. 364 Luther’s Works)
So, I cannot help but wonder, after this challenge, do we really believe that we can pray so boldly and that God will hear and answer such prayers?
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