If You Already Knew, Why Ask?

Illustration by David Foster
Illustration by David Foster

Last night I heard my nephew said to his sister: “If you already know, why do you still ask me?”. My sister told me that a week ago while she was trying to get my niece to confess to something she did, she said ” I already know what you’ve done” and my niece responded “then why are you still asking me if you already knew?”

Sounds familiar?

I used to say that a lot. It sounds disrespectful but I think to a young mind, it makes no sense to ask when we already know the answer.  When I was still teaching, my students would ask the same thing. If I already knew,  then why would I still squeeze them for answers? Logical.

Earlier as I was doing my devotion, I said :“God, what do you do when I don’t feel like praying?” “What do you do when I feel like I have nothing else to pray about?”.  The Holy Spirit prompted me to be quiet and He started showing me things that I should be grateful for; and I just kept saying “thank you”  even for the  birds that regularly visit and hang out in our backyard! I just thanked God for E -V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

See how that works?

Then, to further confirm that God and I are on the same page. He lead me to Matthew 6:8b

for your Father knows what you already need before you ask him”

Pretty incredible.

So just like our Heavenly Father, asking is not so much about entrapment. It is about 1.) our hearts and motives and 2.) credit on His end.  Let me explain further.

When you ask someone about something you already knew, what is the value of that to the both of you? You want them to confess and own up to it, right? To see if the heart is right, to see if there would be remorse and to see if there would be repentance. Then, you forgive after maybe a bit of schooling and you get the credit,  for in the eyes of that person you are just, yet compassionate and loving.

photo taken off google
                                           *photo taken off google

Our Father is the same way. Why do we have to pray when He already knows what we need and want?  What is your answer?

It is total dependence that he wants from us. We ask because we lack. We ask because we are in need. Then He gives and he gets the glory in the end. Otherwise, if God would just simply give us everything, we risk developing a sense of entitlement and pride. If we can make it on our own and if we can have it our way without Him, then we won’t need Him anymore.

As we remember our Lord’s death and resurrection, may we not forget that God already knew we needed a Savior. We didn’t ask for Jesus’ sacrificial death, but it happened anyway because He loved us very much. He died for our sins because He knew we needed redemption.

We just need to acknowledge that sacrifice and accept the gift.



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