Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Asking Already Answered Questions

Suggested Reading: Luke 18:35-42

In the Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report, three psychics hooked up to a computer interface predict crimes before they happen. Those yet uncommitted crimes are prevented, when possible, and the people who have not yet committed any crime are then punished for their potential future sins. When the potential abuses of this system are turned against one of its primary operators, suddenly people realize that punishing someone for something that hasn't happened yet might not be a good idea.

While scripture teaches us that God knows our words and actions long before we ourselves do, God also has this fairly consistent tendency to want to hear our prayers. Like in Luke 18, Jesus is traveling down the road and a blind man begins calling out to him. Jesus stops and has the blind man brought before him and then asks what the blind man wants from him. Now, everyone who reads this story knows exactly what the man wants.  Everyone present that day probably knew what the man wanted. But Jesus still asks so the man can respond, "Lord, I want to see!" (Luke 18:41, NIV).  We see a similar dynamic in the garden of Eden when God asks Adam why they have hidden from him and whether they ate the forbidden fruit.

Yes, God knows what we need. Yes, God often sets the answers to our prayers in motion long before we ever pray for the need.  But God still likes to be asked just like every one else and, amazingly, God often times things so that the final fruition of God's behind the scenes work on our prayers occurs when we finally go to God. No one likes to be taken for granted, not even God, and it's hard for us to grow spiritually when we take God for granted.

Even though Good knows what you need, ask God anyway. The asking itself often does the most good.

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