(What? He Said I Get Whatever I Want, Right?)
Luke 11: 5-9 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
In this passage, Jesus encourages us to ask God boldly for what we need. I’m not sure some of our resulting practices and theologies really capture what He’s saying correctly, though. Does it mean saying certain phrases like, “In the name of Jesus” like magic words? What about being demanding and ordering God to give us things? Or assuming we get whatever we want – riches, fame, happiness or we’ll have a tantrum? That seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? God would not be manipulated so easily. If you and I can pinpoint manipulative people and rude, childish behavior, surely He can even moreso! And even for us, imperfect people, how do these tactics work on us? We’d ground a rude child or confront a manipulative friend. If we expect respect and truthfulness, doesn’t God as well?
I don’t think there are magic words that unlock God’s genie side. In the passage above, the neighbor was asking for food to serve an unexpected visitor so he could be gracious, as God desires us to be. He was very bold because he wanted to imitate the character of God – hospitable, generous, serving.
How is God calling you to serve? What people group has he placed on your heart to pray for and reach out to? Which of his qualities is He working on developing in you today to make you more like Him? We can boldly ask God and expect abundant blessings when we align our will and purpose to His. We can come to him humbly with expectation because He loves to bless us with good gifts. He loves to help us model His generosity, boldness and graciousness to the world He has created.