Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17 (CSB)
On the day after Christmas a few years back, I noticed my five-year-old son sitting on his bed, looking rather glum. I sat next to him and asked, “What’s the matter?”
He said, “I’m sad because I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas.”
“I see. Well, your dad and I think you need to be a little bit older before getting you a hang glider.”
I thought we had gone over this already.
Then he explained, “I know, Mom, but I also really wanted some sticky shoes so I could walk on the ceiling.”
To my son’s dismay, neither a hang glider nor a pair of astronaut-worthy sticky shoes made it under the tree that year. As parents, we had a different idea of what would be appropriate gifts for our sweet, adventuresome boy.
But I could understand where he was coming from. Because I think some of my prayer requests to my Father might sound a little like a child’s Christmas list:
God, please grant me this . . .
Please bless me with that . . .
I would be forever grateful if You would please . . .
Yeah, I wish I could say that all my prayers are purely selfless intercessions, but I have stacks of prayer journals that prove otherwise. It’s one reason I write my prayers down. It keeps me accountable. I can look back over a page and see how many of my prayers were for me and how many were for others.
Thankfully, we serve a God who knows every word before it even forms on our lips (Psalm 139:4).
He knows our hearts — the good and the not-so-good — and He loves us anyway. And still He invites us to come to Him with our requests.
The God who formed the stars and shaped the moon came and walked this dusty earth with regular ol’ sandals, and then He generously and audaciously said:
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find.
Knock, and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7 (CSB)
Yes, our Father knows what we need before we even ask (Matthew 6:8), but still He wants us to ask. He wants us to pray. After all, if parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:9-11)
When our Father gave, He gave of Himself. He gave His Son, who then gave His life.
God doesn’t hold out on us. He doesn’t hold back from giving us what is truly best for us — just like we didn’t want our five-year-old trying to hang glide off the roof of our house.
James said, “Every good and perfect gift is from above,” but just moments before this, he also said:
“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God
—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—
and it will be given to him.”
James 1:5 (CSB)
Wisdom. We are invited to come to the Father and ask for wisdom because He is a generous giver who wants to graciously bestow wisdom on His children who sincerely ask for it.
So as we wrap up one year and head into the next, that is the gift I desire most. That God would grant me the wisdom I need — to parent my kids well, to love my husband well, to cherish my friends well, and to serve others well.
What is the one gift you’re praying for in 2019?
When our Father gave, He gave of Himself. He gave His Son, who then gave His life. -@DeniseJHughes: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Beth Williams says
I’ve been listening to Dr. James Macdonald (Walk in the Word). He is doing a series on prayer. It is inspiring to learn new ways to pray. He talks about changing the prayer & what exactly to pray for & how. He suggests using CATS (confession, adoration, thanksgiving & supplication). To become a great prayer we should set a timer & confession, adoration then spend about 2-3 minutes in thanking God for all He’s given us. Great way to start. Always add God’s will be done, not mine. End the prayer with “in Jesus name” AMEN. I’m praying for my hubby & I to change in 2019. To become better Christians who trust God & pray about everything. Asking Him to keep my in-laws & good friends healthy. My prayer list is 3 pages long. I take some prayers from in courage responders & some writers & pray about them long & hard. I don’t ask much for myself. I don’t need much. My prayer list helps me see answered prayers. I turn those into thanksgiving back to God.
Have a blessed 2019!!
This year, I am praying for God’s wisdom in my role as a single mother. I want to make decisions that best support my young daughter and allow her to thrive.
Ashley Johnson Wyatt says
Thank you for posting your prayer request. I’ve been a single mother for 10 years and I so hear your heart!!
I would love to begin joining with you in prayer for God to give you His wisdom as the mamma of your daughter…I believe He delights in a mother’s heart whose main request is this!
I believe today and the year ahead God is going to greatly bless you and your sweet daughter!
with God’s love ,
Thank you, Ashley! Any good tips or resources for single mothers? I feel unprepared for this journey.
Pearl Allard says
Denise, I had to smile at the hang glider and sticky shoes. What a precious son you have! I’m so grateful God is just as gentle with us as you were with your son – inviting us to ask and then shaping our desires and character in the process so that nothing is ever wasted. Happy New Year!
Amen to Pearl’s comments. May we love like Jesus in 2019!
The one gift I am praying for is to find a friend who will understand my weirdness, who will share this life with and who will love me even when I act crazy. I had lost my best friend the beginning of this year and boy it has been such a tough year. Sometimes I feel as if I am getting better, learning to manage my emotions better but then out of nowhere, these memories sneak up and attack me like never before and I am back right there in January but I know God loves me and will get me through this pain, one day at a time. I have learned that sometimes we don’t get what we think we deserve or want because He have better things coming. I need to continue to have faith and trust in His timing. Thanks so much for sharing this message. I will see you soon Zer Cha, save me a seat…