The Father’s Good Pleasure
Our Lord said, “Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…Instead seek His Kingdom, and these things we will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:22-32). And in another place, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
With these words from our Lord, we are better able to receive the words from James when it comes to prayer. James is clear that we must ask without doubting. Indeed, such a man is “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” He should expect nothing from the Lord being double-minded and unstable “in all his ways.” These are hard words, especially for those of us who lack the measure of faith others have. But them we are reminded of our Lord’s words. Our God is a loving Father who truly desires to bless us; indeed, it is His “good pleasure” to do so for us. And when compared to our evil selves, why would we first ask a friend for help first? Our Father is exactly that—a loving Father—calling us to call upon Him.
But we must also see these verses in the context in which they are written. James was just talking about asking God for wisdom. Jesus was saying that even the necessities of life should take a backseat to the Kingdom of God where our prayers are concerned—even to the point of giving some of those necessities away for the sake of others. Indeed, he is the Holy Spirit for whom we should ask the most!
And when we ask for these things, why would we doubt? For then we are praying according to his will (1 John 5:14). And James will soon enough say, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (4:3). If we struggle with doubt in our prayers, perhaps we know inside that we are not asking for that which we should.
Still, God “knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). And so our Lord answered the poor man’s plea for his son who cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Yes, there are times when we say the same from a heart full of anguish. And the Lord hears those prayers as well. Just remember: It is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.” Be strong and courageous, and pray in peace.