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Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened. Matthew 7:8 (NCV)

Do you remember when you were a little child as Christmas approached? Maybe your parents brought you to the local mall to ‘meet Santa’. The beamed proudly as you sat on some strange man’s lap and told him all the things you wanted for Christmas. Do you remember the disappointment when there was no pony under the tree? When you didn’t get the ball glove you told Santa about? By the way (side trip!), did you ever wonder why, if Santa knew when you were sleeping, when you were awake, and how well you behaved, he had to ask what you wanted for Christmas? 

There’s a tendency in our human nature to think of God in the same way we grew up thinking about Santa Claus. He gives good gift if we are nice and bad gifts, or no gifts, if we are bad. Two things for you to remember. Santa Claus isn’t real (sorry for the disappointment so close to Christmas) and, secondly, God isn’t Santa Claus.

When Jesus talks about our relationship with the Heavenly Father he talks about commitment and endurance. Your Heavenly Father is committed to you. Period. In our world that’s hard to really comprehend. Sadly, fathers in our society are portrayed as bumbling idiots more intent on watching football than building relationships. Many of us men have lived up to that image.

I’ll say it again. Your Heavenly Father is like no other father you have ever known. You are his one priority. You are his pride and joy. Nothing else matters. So, when you are struggling with life ask. Not just once. Your Father is committed to you. Be committed to him. Don’t just ask once and forget about it. Persistent prayer, committed conversation with your Father helps you to see his feelings as well as evaluate your own.

Secondly, seek. Not occasional glances. Not hurried requests. To seek means you look deeply at every possible solution to find what how God wants to bless you.  It’s too easy to pray once and figure if we don’t get what we want, God doesn’t care. Fact of the matter is, you may be asking him for a stone when he really wants to give you bread. You may be longing for a snake without realizing it when all the while he wants to give you a fish.

Unanswered prayer is really God’s way of telling us he has something better in mind. Grace teaches us to realize he will never let us down. Faith says we’ll trust his wisdom over our desires. It takes time. It takes commitment. It takes trust. God has all the time in the world. He’s totally committed to your well-being. All he asks is for your persistent trust.

PRAYER: Father, when I pray it’s so easy to be lured into the trap of thinking you are a vending machine god that gives according to what I put into our relationship. Help me to have the wisdom to seek your direction and the courage to follow it. Amen.

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