Skip to content


December 4, 2020

“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:8

A few weeks ago, the children took it upon themselves to write Christmas lists. I suppose they didn’t want to leave us to our own devices when it came to picking out gifts. The lists were helpful but mostly predictable. I don’t need a piece of paper to know that my kids want LEGO sets, Star Wars stuff, Cubs gear, and books. Lots of books! There were a few surprises on the lists, and there will be surprises under the tree. Erika and I did not feel beholden to their requests when we did our online shopping. The gifts have started to arrive, each quickly wrapped in the paper secretly assigned to each family member.

I had a pretty good idea when it came to what my kids wanted for Christmas, but my knowledge pales in comparison to that of our heavenly Father. Teaching about prayer during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells the crowd, “your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Praying by heaping up empty phrases – that’s what Gentiles do. Don’t be like them! But this is not admonishment only. It is promise. God knows our needs, and God delights in providing for us.

Shortly after today’s verse, Jesus teaches the people the Lord’s Prayer, which certainly suffices to present our requests to the Lord. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t pray more specifically for other things. Of course we should! The joy is that when we make our lists – for the healing of a loved one, for a new job, for peace – God already knows the lists we carry in our hearts. What a gift to be so well known, so well loved, by the Father.

I made a Christmas list, too. Let me know if you need gift ideas!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Loving God, thank you for hearing our prayers and for gifting us with those things we most need. During this season of gift giving, keep us mindful of those in need. May the gifts we give extend beyond our own households as we bless this world with signs of your abundance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The stocking are hung on the bookcase with care.


From → COVID-19

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: