Have you ever noticed how much kids ask for? I took a four-year-old to the grocery store with me last week to pick up some flour and chocolate chips for our some afternoon baking. Though the local grocery store here is small and doesn’t have the standard toy section full of brightly colored cheap plastic, I was amazed that we could walk through two aisles to grab our needed ingredients and still hear a dozen requests. “Can I get this? We need that. I want those.” I decided I wouldn’t be taking this little one shopping again without the clear instructions not to ask for anything.
But even around the house I was still bombarded with requests. More milk. Movie. Find Barbie’s shoe. Sometimes I say yes, sometimes I tell her to do it herself. But regardless the answer, she continues to ask. And then there is the ever-haunting “why?” question that every child inevitably latches on to. Why is it bedtime? Why do I have to sleep? Why is sleep important? It is the mark of a child. Always asking.
We are told to be like children in our relation to God. Often we think this refers to humility, trust, or maybe dependence on Him. But maybe also we are to be asking. Always asking.
And God isn’t the parent who tells His child she is not allowed to ask for one thing. He does not put us on timeout for too many requests. He does not get fed up and yank us out of the store after hearing “can I…?” for the thousandth time. He welcomes the requests. Not only that, He commands the requests.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. ~Matthew 7:7 (NLT)
It is a continuous action mentioned in the verbs in this verse, urging us to repeat our requests over and over again. We may be shy. We may be timid. We may think ourselves annoying and childlike. God says yes, that’s exactly how we are to be. Don’t stop with one prayer. Mention it again and again. Always keep on asking. It is the mark of a child of God.
“So treat God as a Father, and let Him know how things are with you! Ask, search, and knock and see what happens! Expect some surprises on the way, but don’t expect God will ever let you down. It would be a shame to tone down one of the most sparkling and generous sets of promises anywhere in the Bible.” –NT Wright