“When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, ‘Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!’” (Luke 13:12, NLT).

We have been conditioned to believe before we can receive from God, we have to ask. It’s true Jesus said if we ask, we receive and if we knock, the door will be opened (Matthew 7), and James said we don’t have what we want because we don’t ask for it (James 4). But viewing God and how he answers prayer only in this way limits him and might give us a false sense that we have blessings because we were smart enough to ask or persistent enough to persuade God to finally answer.

As Jesus was teaching in the synagogue one day, he spotted this woman, crippled by an evil spirit for 18 years and bent over double, so she couldn’t stand up straight. She would have been in the women’s section, separate from the men, so she was probably not very close to him. We can surmise that, being some distance away and bent over, she couldn’t see him. She didn’t come to him or ask to be healed—he saw her misery, called her over and healed her.

God doesn’t always wait on us to ask and he’s not limited by whether or not we pray for something. He can and does bless us simply because he wants to, a loving Father who freely gives gifts to his children. The woman’s response was to praise God—may we continually do the same.

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