January 18, 2009

Why should I bother to ask?

Yesterday I met with a few friends and we were talking about the Pater Noster prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen

One friend said this prayer is not enough, because it's so not personal, and we should ask Him to grant us our wishes or solve our problems.

She quoted from Mathew 7:7.

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you."

In my opinion, these two highlighted phrases contradict each other. Why? It was said, if we ask, then we will receive. But on the other side, God's will be done.

A shallow example, I asked my dad for a BMW convertible. My dad gave me a Suzuki instead. My dad's will be done, it's his money, his authority. I shouldn't complain, you may say, at least I got the car. Yes, I did, but that wasn't the one I asked for. So if in the end I don't have any say, why should I ask?

You may say, but if you didn't speak up that I wanted a car, I wouldn't even get the Suzuki. Really? If he's really a good dad, he should know that I need a car, without me even asking. I believe God will give us what we need, but not necessarily what we want.

Let me tell you my story. I was born with impairments. And I had to go through lots of surgeries in my childhood. As a child, I was afraid of surgeries, and I prayed to God every night, "God, please send me your miracle, heal me so that I don't have to go through this surgery." But I still had to go through those surgeries, God didn't work his miracles on me.

Ok, I don't hate God or anything. In fact, I am very grateful because he gives me nice parents who can afford those expensive surgeries and who never think twice about giving me the best health care. I learned that God provides me with what I need. But is it what I asked for? I don't think so.

We, human beings, are selfish. We're always asking for things, complaining about our problems.But we forget to be grateful for what we have. It would be nice if we start appreciating what we have, instead of whining and complaining about things that we don't have. It helps, you know, to see things from a positive point of view.

Anyway, my point here is, why should I even bother to ask, if in the end He already knows what's best for me, and that His will be done? In this case, it would be better if this phrase 'ask and you will receive' didn't exist. If He didn't promise me anything in the first place, then I too would have nothing against His authority.

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