by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13 ESV
When I was a girl, I took my parents’ provision for granted. I always had enough food to eat and nice, new clothes to wear. They provided me with a reliable used car when I began my last year of high school. They paid my college tuition and room and board. And although I did have to work for spending money and extras, in hindsight, I know Mom and Dad used that to teach me a valuable life lesson.
I didn’t know – and honestly may not have cared at the time – that Mom and Dad went without things they wanted in order to give to me. They even went above and beyond my basic needs to give me things I simply wanted. For instance, my mother didn’t buy clothes she needed so I could have a fancy prom dress. And my parents sacrificed years of vacations so I could get an education. It wasn’t until later – until I had children of my own – that I began to understand what my parents had done for me.
When Wayne and I started a family, we naturally began to make the same kinds of sacrifices my parents – and Wayne’s parents – had made. Date nights and dinners out dwindled. We set aside much of our own desires, and even some needs, in order to provide and bless our own children. We did it because we love our children. And it gave us joy to give to them. And now we get to see our own children love our grandchildren and sacrifice to provide for them.
Not all earthly parents properly care for their children. Far too many are neglected and abused. But most parents do treat their children with kindness and love. Most desire to abundantly provide for them. If that’s how we treat our children, even with all our sin and imperfections, how much more will our perfect heavenly Father respond to our petitions with kindness? How much more does He long to give us good gifts?
Jesus taught His disciples, and us, to pray to God as “Father” (Luke 11:1-4). If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have access to God because you are His child. On the basis of this relationship, you can boldly bring Him your every need. Every longing of your heart. Every hurt and grief and pain.
Yes, God knows our needs before we ask, but prayer is an expression of relationship. Through prayer we acknowledge our trust in the God who not only can provide for our needs, He also wants to provide abundantly.
God is a good, good Father and the giver of good, good gifts. Let us pray expectantly, trusting in God’s good provision.
About the author: A former “cultural Christian,” Bible teacher and speaker Kathy Howard now lives an unshakable faith for life and encourages women to stand firm on our rock-solid God. The author of eight books, Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education. She and her retired husband live outside the Dallas/Ft Worth area with their miscellaneous assortment of dogs. Find free discipleship resources on her website, www.kathyhoward.org and connect with Kathy on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
This post was adapted from Kathy’s book God is My Refuge: Twelve Weeks of Devotions and Scripture Memory for Troubled Times. It provides the direction women need to discover, understand, and tap into the ”ever-present help” that only God can give.
Join the conversation: How has our Heavenly Father provided for your needs in the past?