Ask, and it shall be given to you

“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.   I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me<sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSV-26672a" data-link="[a]”>[a] for anything, I will do it.            
                                                               
                                                                                                                —Jesus of Nazareth 


Do you remember asking Jesus for the BIG stuff when you were a little kid?  You asked Jesus to give you three ponies ( a black one, a brown one, and a white one) for Christmas.  You asked Jesus to bring back your favorite GI Joe after he washed down the street drain in a storm.  When your dog, Tippy, died you asked Jesus to bring him back from the dead.  When you heard about all the starving children in the world, you prayed to Jesus to leave an envelope with one million bucks inside on your doorstep the next morning so you could feed all those starving kids.

So why don’t you ask Jesus for the BIG stuff anymore?  He said to ask for anything and he would do it!

Answer:  When we get a little older we realize that Jesus didn’t really mean what he said.  What he meant to say was this,

“If you ask anything in my name, I will do it…if…it is my will to do it.  If it isn’t my will, I won’t.”

So as we get older we stop asking Jesus for the big things, the hard things, because we have learned that Jesus never answers those prayers.  Ok, maybe once in a great while Jesus answers a big or hard prayer but it is always something that could have happened by chance anyway, isn’t it?  Even really rare things can happen by chance.  But Jesus never resurrects Grandpa or Grandma from the dead, no matter how hard we pray, does he?  Jesus never reattaches a severed limb from an amputee, does he?

No, Jesus doesn’t answer those prayers.  That is asking Jesus for just a little too much, isn’t it, dear Christian?  That is why when you get older you only ask Jesus for the easy stuff:  To bless your food.  To give you a “nice day”.  To keep your kids safe. 

And when it is time to go to bed at night, you get down on your knees by your bed and you ask Jesus to bless everyone in your life; you thank him for having let you and your children live one more day…and then you fall asleep into your pillow…to wake up in the morning…to repeat the same prayer…full of easy requests, so you don’t ask too much of Jesus…who promised to give you anything that you asked for.

But, maybe you’re not asking Jesus for too much.  Maybe the reason Jesus doesn’t answer the big or the hard prayer requests is because Jesus can’t hear you.  Jesus can’t hear you…because Jesus is dead.

Dear Christian:  You are an adult now.  Just as you stopped believing in imaginary beings called Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, it is time to stop believing in and praying to an ancient man/god who died 2,000 years ago.  The “Virgin Birth”, the “Resurrection”, etc.,  are ancient folk tales.  Jesus doesn’t answer your prayer requests any more than Santa and the Tooth Fairy answered your requests to them when you were a kid. 

It’s a silly superstition and nothing more, friend.  The fact that Jesus doesn’t answer your “big” prayers is proof.

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