“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[ a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
This is the last short paragraph in Jesus’ reply to the disciples’ request that He teach them to pray. As I read through it, I know how it’s going to end, and yet every time, I’m surprised when I see the last seven words…
Holy Spirit weren’t we talking about bread?
Let’s think about this:
What do we need to accomplish God’s purpose, to build His Kingdom? The Holy Spirit.
What do we need most in this life to sustain our existence? The Holy Spirit.
What do we need most to serve one another in His love? The Holy Spirit.
What do we need most to understand the depths of Scripture? The Holy Spirit.
What do we need most to overcome the challenges of this life? The Holt Spirit.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
In prayer, we ask for many things, but how often do we boldly ask for the Holy Spirit? How often do we ask for the Holy Spirit to lead us, to guide us, to rule in our lives…?
That was a rhetorical question; I wouldn’t presume to speak for others. The Holy Spirit will do all of these things and more if we ask Him to, and if we will get out of His way. There’s really only one thing I know of that He doesn’t do, and that is to force Himself on us.
We need to ask and permit.