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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Afraid To Ask

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 
Matthew 7:9-11

Part of connecting with God in prayer is asking Him for needs we have. Children know how to ask their parents for their needs, and trust them to respond accordingly.

Not all children. Many grow up in families without open communication. I grew up in a traditional Czechoslovakian home in the United States. Typically, bohemian fathers are authoritarian, rather than authoritative. Punishment is the norm in lieu of discipline for training purposes. Children are to be seen and not heard and to speak only when first spoken to. (Visit for additional insight into Czech family culture.)

Since talking was discouraged, I naturally didn’t ask my parents for things—not for new clothes, necessities, and certainly not for spending money. My heritage is rich, yet I was afraid to ask for anything, legitimate or not. My heart pounded and my palms sweat in dreadful anticipation of asking to go next door to play with my girlfriend. I usually didn’t ask. Fear ruled.

Learning to ask God anything has been a difficult and humbling process for me. God, as our heavenly Father, desires that we, as His beloved children, make requests of Him. The word “ask” as quoted in the above Scripture is distinguished from other instances. Here it suggests the humble petition of one in a lesser position than he to whom the petition is made. To ask in this manner delights God and encourages our dependency on Him.  God’s nurturing love encompasses more than generous gifts and actions. His love exudes passion and compassion for us.

Gracious heavenly Father, You want me to come to You with every need. Thank You for hearing my heart. You are a loving and giving Father who listens.

Karen Sims

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