“Alexander the Great had a general whose daughter was getting married. Alexander valued this soldier greatly and offered to pay for the wedding. When the general gave Alexander’s steward the bill, it was absolutely enormous. The steward came to Alexander and named the sum. To his surprise Alexander smiled and said, ‘Pay it! Don’t you see–by asking me for such an enormous sum he does me great honor. He shows that he believes I am both rich and generous.’” (Tim Keller in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World).
What a great illustration of the attitude we should have in prayer. It does great honor to our Heavenly Father when we ask great things of him because it shows we believe he is both rich and generous.
Before I was a Christian I pictured God as a grumpy old man in the sky watching me with a lightning bolt in his hand ready to hurl it at me the moment I started to have fun. At other times I figured he was too busy running the universe to answer my peewee needs. Sometimes I’d view him as blessing me begrudgingly – “Oh alright already – I’ll give you a few crumbs. Now go away and quit bothering me.”
Our Father is inclined to bless, save, forgive, help, and strengthen. The ultimate demonstration of his generosity is that he gave his only Son to save us. He’s poured out his riches upon us in Christ.
Isaiah 30.18 says “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.”
Because of Jesus, God waits to be gracious to us! He’s waiting, poised, ready to pour out blessings. I can just picture him saying, “Come on, just ask me! I’m can’t wait to bless you. It glorifies me to show mercy to you.”
What a wonderful God we serve!