The Review and Herald

1655/1902

August 11, 1910

Asking to Give

EGW

Christ was continually receiving from the Father, that he might communicate to us. “The word which ye hear,” he said, “is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.” “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” Not for himself, but for others, he lived and thought and prayed. From hours spent with God he came forth morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. Daily he received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened him from his slumbers, and his soul and his lips were anointed with grace, that he might impart to others. His words were given him fresh from the heavenly courts, words that he might speak in season to the weary and oppressed. “The Lord God hath given me,” he said, “the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” RH August 11, 1910, par. 1

Christ's disciples were much impressed by his prayers and by his habit of communion with God. One day after a short absence from their Lord, they found him absorbed in supplication. Seemingly unconscious of their presence, he continued praying aloud. The hearts of the disciples were deeply moved. As he ceased praying, they exclaimed, “Lord, teach us to pray.” RH August 11, 1910, par. 2

In answer, Christ repeated the Lord's prayer, as he had given it in the sermon on the mount. Then in a parable he illustrated the lesson he desired to teach them. RH August 11, 1910, par. 3

“Which of you,” he said, “shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I can not rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” RH August 11, 1910, par. 4

Here Christ represents the petitioner as asking that he may give again. He must obtain the bread, else he can not supply the necessities of a weary, belated wayfarer. Though his neighbor is unwilling to be troubled, he will not desist his pleading; his friend must be relieved. At last his importunity is rewarded, and his wants are supplied. RH August 11, 1910, par. 5

In like manner the disciples were to seek blessings from God. In the feeding of the multitude and in the sermon on the bread from heaven, Christ had opened to them their work as his representatives. They were to give the bread of life to the people. He who had appointed their work, saw how often their faith would be tried. Often they would be thrown into unexpected positions, and would realize their human insufficiency. Souls that were hungering for the bread of life would come to them, and they would feel themselves to be destitute and helpless. They must receive spiritual food, or they would have nothing to impart. But they were not to turn one soul away unfed. Christ directs them to the source of supply. The man whose friend came to him for entertainment, even at the unseasonable hour of midnight, did not turn him away. He had nothing to set before him, but he went to one who had food, and pressed his request, until the neighbor supplied his need. And would not God, who had sent his servants to feed the hungry, supply their need for his own work? RH August 11, 1910, par. 6

But the selfish neighbor in the parable does not represent the character of God. The lesson is drawn, not by comparison, but by contrast. A selfish man will grant an urgent request, in order to rid himself of one who disturbs his rest. But God delights to give. He is full of compassion, and he longs to grant the requests of those who come unto him in faith. He gives to us that we may minister to others, and thus become like himself. RH August 11, 1910, par. 7

Christ declares: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” RH August 11, 1910, par. 8