Matthew 7:7-9 (NLT)
7 �Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 �You parents�if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

These words from Jesus come from His sermon on the mount. Jesus talks about effective prayer. He said to keep asking and seeking in order to find an answer. For if we on this earth understand how to answer our children when they make a request; our Holy and Heavenly Father is able to do so much more.

�Travel back 200 years in Christian history to John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-pastor and hymn writer. He would receive almost unbelievable answers to his prayers because he believed in what he called "large asking." When explaining what he meant, Newton would often cite a legendary story of a man who asked Alexander the Great to give him a huge sum of money in exchange for his daughter's hand in marriage. Alexander agreed, and told the man to request of Alexander's treasurer whatever he wanted. So, the father of the bride went and asked for an enormous amount. The treasurer was startled and said he could not give out that kind of money without a direct order. Going to Alexander, the treasurer argued that even a small fraction of the money requested would more than serve the purpose. "No," replied Alexander, "let him have it all. I like that fellow. He does me honor. He treats me like a king and proves by what he asks that he believes me to be both rich and generous." Newton concluded: "In the same way, we should go to the throne of God's grace and present petitions that express honorable views of the love, riches, and bounty of our King." [1] God give out of love, but also holds back out of love when He knows our requests are wrong. Like a good parent God gives what we need, not always what we want.

[1] Passed along from Parables, an old newsletter that regularly featured illustrations for preachers