What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” —Luke 11:11-13 ESV
We must keep this simple fact before us: God is Father and we are children. The Father always keeps the right to do what is best for the children even if they don’t understand why it is best. If this were not so, then we would be saying that we should run the Father’s house. We should be the Father and he should be the child. Which in this case would mean we should rule the universe and God should learn from us how to do it.
Prayer has never meant that God should stop being God. We do not have the wisdom or the grace to run the universe. God is God. And he will continue to decide how to run the universe in the best way. If we ask him for a fish, he will not give us a snake, but he may give us Pepto Bismol or ibuprofen or grapefruit. He will give us what is good for us.
The utterly amazing thing is that he has ordained to include us in running the universe. He really does respond to our prayers. They are woven into the fabric of causes that God wills to be moved by. We do not pray in vain. He is our Father. And when he hears his children, he responds. He is not deaf or indifferent or powerless. He hears and he acts.