Term 2 – Week 09
Big Idea – Followers of Jesus are commanded to pray to God their Heavenly Father because He knows what they need and gives good gifts.
- To know that God is like a human Father but even greater!! He provides for our needs and gives good gives. All we need to do is ask him.
- To understand that prayers enable God’s people to live His way in this world because it is an expression of our dependence upon him.
- Belief – Do we know God loves us like a Father loves his children? Do we believe God knows what’s best for us? Do we believe God answers our prayers?
- Behaviour – Encourage the child to stop and pray this week if they find themselves worrying about something.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus taught his followers about worry versus trust. If we are to live God’s way in this world, then followers of Jesus must trust in God, their heavenly father to provide for their needs and not worry, because God cares for his children.
Now in Matthew 7:7-11, Jesus gives his followers the antidote to all our worry in life. He says, don’t worry, instead pray! Jesus commands, “Ask, and it will be given to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you” (v.7). Prayer is the antidote to all worry in life because it expresses a robust confidence in God’s willingness to give his children all that they need. Prayer is expression of our trust and dependence in God our Father. We don’t have to badger or cajole God into looking after us because “Everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find. The door will be opened to the one who knocks” (v.8). God will answer our prayers and provide us with all that we need because He is generous towards his children. He is in fact, more ready to give to His children than we are to ask of Him.
To illustrate his point, Jesus is prompted to give an analogy from human parenthood and asks two rhetorical questions: “Suppose your son asks for bread. Which of you will give him a stone? Or suppose he asks for a fish. Which of you will give him a snake? “(vv.9-10). These questions depict what should be an unthinkable response from a parent to a child’s request. The point of the analogy is not merely about the denial of food the son properly asks for, but rather it’s about the sarcastic substitution of the objects in question with another superficially similar object which are either useless (a stone, cf. Matt 4:3) or harmful (a snake, which might resemble an eel or cat fish). It is unthinkable a parent would do such a thing! So, if even an earthly father will give good gifts to his children and not bad ones, then “How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (v.11). God’s care for his children is far greater than even the best a human parent can give! It’s foolish of us to be hesitant and lazy in bringing our needs to God our Father in prayer.
Remember: Prayer assumes a relationship with God, and a dependence on Jesus for our salvation, something that those outside Christ cannot have. Note: The “good things” which God will surely give do not necessarily include everything that his children might like to have. It is God as the Father in heaven who knows what is “good” for his children, and as with a human parent his generosity may not always coincide with the child’s wishes.
 R. T. France, ‘The Gospel of Matthew’, in The New International Commentary of the NT, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Cambridge, U.K., 2007), 279.
 France, ‘The Gospel of Matthew, 281.
Matthew 16:24-26 (NIrV)
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must say no to themselves. They must pick up their cross and follow me. Whoever wants to save their life will lose it. But whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses their soul? Or what can anyone trade for their soul?
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