Something That Is Better

Bo Giertz writes that when it comes to prayer, Jesus said “we should be persistent and not give up. We should compare ourselves with the man who, in the middle of the night needed to borrow some bread, and knocked on his neighbor’s door. God isn’t like the neighbor. He doesn’t mind being inconvenienced, but it’s a part of His fatherly way of rearing and teaching His children that He allows us to wait. Maybe He does it just so we learn to pray by being forced to think about what we pray for and being compelled to repeat what we have said in an effort to examine the contents. We have to be sure that what we pray for really comes from the heart. Then, we have God’s promise that He opens the door for us and that He hears us. We might not get just what we prayed for, but it will always be a good gift and just what we need most. Jesus doesn’t say that God gives us what we hoped for, but that He gives the Holy Spirit to those who pray to Him. He gives us the Holy Spirit when we pray persistently and faithfully and come to God with all our needs. The Spirit influences us and transforms us. Sometimes we stop praying about something because we understand that it wasn’t God’s will. Sometimes we discover that we’ve already received something that is better. Sometimes, as we pray, we see a completely different way of looking at what worried us. Or maybe God helps us in some other way–but He always helps us.” (To Live with Christ, 347-8)