Our Perfect Heavenly Father (Luke 11:13) - Radical

Our Perfect Heavenly Father (Luke 11:13)

“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 11:13

So this is at the end of Jesus’ teaching on prayer in Luke 11. In the beginning of this chapter, Jesus teaches the Lord’s prayer, what Matthew 6 records, and Luke records here. Then Luke tells an incredible story about boldness and relentlessness in coming before God in prayer.

Luke 11:13 Shows a contrast between Earthly Fathers and our Heavenly Father

Then we come to this verse where Jesus makes a contrast between earthly fathers and our heavenly Father. And he makes clear earthly fathers love to give good gifts to their children. Earthly fathers are not perfectly good. They’re not perfectly wise. They don’t always know what is best. So how much more will our Heavenly Father, who is perfectly good, perfectly wise, give to us as we ask him?

Now what’s interesting is in Matthew’s version of this teaching, Jesus says, how much more your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. And doubtless Jesus taught exactly those words, God loves giving good gifts. But here in Luke 11, Luke records Jesus saying, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him, which doubtless Jesus also taught? So we receive good gifts from God and we receive the Holy Spirit from God. And think about the wonder of what this means.

Luke 11:13, you might read it and you think, well, I wasn’t asking for the Holy Spirit. I was asking for, well, whatever you fill in the blank that you would be asking God for. Remember, His spirit is the fountain from which all the good things we desire flows. And this is the beauty of Jesus’ promise in Luke 11:13, when we ask for comfort, for example, Jesus doesn’t just give us comfort. He gives us the comforter.

Luke 11:13 Confirms that our greatest gift is the Holy Spirit

When we ask for strength, Jesus doesn’t just give us strength. He gives us the Holy Spirit who is omnipotent. When we ask for peace, he gives us the spirit of peace. When we ask for fill in the blank, every good gift that we desire, he doesn’t just give us gifts. He gives us himself. He gives us the greatest gift, the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, to fill us, to lead us, to guide us. Even that He doesn’t just give us guidance in our lives. He gives us the guide to live in us and lead our thoughts and our desires.

Huh? What an awesome verse. God gives us himself when we ask. So God, we ask. We want more of you. We need more and more and more of you. God, we praise you for all the good gifts you give in our lives, for comfort, for peace, for wisdom, for strength, for guidance.

And yet, even as we pray that we praise you for not just giving us these gifts, we praise you God, for being our guide, for being our strength, for being our peace, for filling us with the spirit of wisdom, for not just counseling us, but for giving us the counselor, for not just comforting us, but giving us the comforter. All glory be to your name for your spirit, your presence inside of us.

Praying for the Power of the Holy Spirit

So we say we want more, we want your Holy Spirit to fill us and lead us and guide us and overwhelm us, captivate us. Have your way in us. We ask for this knowing this is the greatest gift we could receive from you, yourself. And God, even as we pray this, we know Jesus’ words to us that we would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us to be witnesses to the ends of the earth.

So we pray that by the power of your spirit in us today, you would make us witnesses to people around us of your grace and your love we would introduce people to you today through Jesus. And God, we pray that you’d help us to be faithful witnesses to the ends of the earth until all the peoples, nations, tribes, languages have been reached with the good news of your love. God, we pray that your spirit in us would send, lead, guide us wherever you desire, however you will, for the spread of your glory, the greatest gift of all among all the nations. We pray this in light of your word to us, your promise, Jesus. In Luke 11:13, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!