The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
The them in today’s verse are the heathens, the hypocrites. We are commanded not to be like them, especially in prayer. A hidden gem in this verse though is the unconditional promise for today. It is …your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him… Any earthly father would do well to emulate this characteristic of the Heavenly Father. He knows what His children need, when they will need it, and how to help them get what they need, He knows it all. He especially knows that which they do not need. He keeps these things from them, no doubt for their betterment.
His help through prayer is like a story that was once told of a farmer who at the end of the day liked to sit on his back porch taking in the sunset and enjoying nature. Frankly, as I write this I am sitting on my back deck, enjoying the trees, the hedges, the green grass, and my silver lab roaming around hunting for some type of game which she routinely brings to me before she comes in for the night. Back to the story. Over many days that the farmer sat on his porch, he began to notice that his dog would take off running at full speed making circle after circle through the trees, over a ravine, down the side of a stream, around the house as if chasing something. Trip after trip the dog would make then finally, tired and worn out, his faithful companion would collapse at his feet, exhausted. Finally, after many nights of this the man saw that which the dog was chasing. It was a fox. This was the man’s entertainment for many nights.
He always wondered, “Why doesn’t he ever catch the fox?” The dog would tire, becoming slower and slower with each circuit, but the fox never seemed to slow down. One night it dawned on him. With each lap the fox would run through a hollow log by the ravine. Upon careful observation with binoculars the farmer learned the secret of the fox’s unparalleled stamina. There were two foxes. One would enter the log, the second one would take a lap. They did this over and over until the dog grew exhausted and ended the chase.
To me, this is what prayer is. I run into a secret place, stop there awhile, and ask the Lord to run a lap for me. I ask Him to do what I can’t, provide what I don’t have, fix the things that I’ve broken and make them right again. He always does … sometimes. He runs when I can’t, pays what I don’t have, fixes that which frankly is sometimes unfixable. He always knows what I need even though I don’t.
Some time ago, I was in a place where frankly I needed to know that He loves me. I asked Him in prayer if He did. Oh, I know, I know, you spiritual giants never need this, and I never needed it either, until I did. So, I asked Him to show me that He loves me. I did not ask for anything specific, I just wanted to know that He really does love me. Within a few days He did. It was nothing earth shattering except that it shook my world. He loves me and He let me know that He does. Frankly, He ran a lap for me that week.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.