Everyone has people in their lives that influence how they see things, and God has used Pastor Jim Cymbala as His instrument to teach Pastor G and me more about Him and His ways. God used others to do the same for Cymbala. Below is a quote from Martin Luther as shown in Cymbala’s small, powerful devotional The Promise of Answered Prayer.
You might wonder, “why does God insist that we pray to Him and tell Him our problems? Why doesn’t He take care of us without our having to ask? He already knows what we need better than we do.” God continually showers His gifts on the whole world every day. He gives people sunshine, rain, good harvests, money, healthy bodies, and so on. But no one asks God for these gifts or thanks Him for them. If God already knows that we can’t live without lights or food for any length of time, then why does He want us to ask for those necessities?
Obviously, He doesn’t command us to pray in order to inform Him about our needs. God gives us His gifts freely and abundantly. He wants us to recognize that He is willing and able to give us even more. When we pray, we’re not telling God anything He already doesn’t know. Rather, we are the ones gaining knowledge and insight. Asking God to supply our needs keeps us from becoming like the unbelieving skeptics, who don’t acknowledge God and don’t thank Him for His many gifts.
All of this teaches us to acknowledge God’s generosity even more. Because we continue to search for Him and keep on knocking at His door, He showers us with more and more blessings. Everything we have is a gift from God. When we pray, we should express our gratitude by saying, “Lord, I know I can’t create a single slice of my daily bread. You are the only One who can supply all of my needs. I have no way to protect myself from disasters. You know what I need ahead of time, so I’m convinced You will take care of me.”
May we all be changed by prayer as so many before us have been and so many after us will be. May we be filled with gratitude for a God who knows what we need before we need it and who stands ready to supply it at just the right time. May we all become more spiritually mature and become like the little children Christ held up as a worthy example of how to be with God. That’s today’s encouraging word.
copyright 2013, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved