Asking for Scorpions

Reading: Luke 11:1-26


If you’re learning to pray, there’s no better teacher than Jesus. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray (v. 1), they may not have fully grasped that they were requesting of God Himself, “Show us how you want us to speak with you.”


Jesus responds with a simple model to cover the essentials of communicating to God (vv. 2-4). He then gives a parable to encourage their persistence in making requests of the Father (vv. 5-8). He takes things a step further by giving his disciples the command to pray—Ask! Seek! Knock! That’s how we will experience the power of prayer (vv. 9-10). He brings these points to a conclusion by relating prayer to a child seeking the providing care of his or her father (v. 11-13).


This last illustration has important application to us today. We come to our heavenly Father with requests for things we think are good for us. But what if I’m asking for something that isn’t what is best for me? What if I think I’m asking for an egg, bread, or fish, but in reality, I’m asking in ignorance for a scorpion, a snake, or a stone? A good father wouldn’t fulfill those requests, though it may upset the child asking for them. Prayer teaches us to trust God; He knows what’s best for me, no matter how He answers my prayers. In prayer we learn to ask God for the best possible request we could make, and the very thing He wants to give us (v. 13): Himself.