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Don’t ask for small gifts!

The golfer Arnold Palmer once played a series of exhibition matches in Saudi Arabia.  The king was so impressed that he proposed to give Palmer a gift.  Palmer demurred: “it really isn’t necessary, Your Highness.  I’m honored to have been invited.”  “I would be deeply upse…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

The golfer Arnold Palmer once played a series of exhibition matches in Saudi Arabia.  The king was so impressed that he proposed to give Palmer a gift.  Palmer demurred: “it really isn’t necessary, Your Highness.  I’m honored to have been invited.” 

“I would be deeply upset,” replied the king, “if you would not allow me to give you a gift.”

Palmer thought for a moment and said: “All right.  How about a golf club?  That would be a beautiful memento of my visit to your country.”

The next day, delivered to Palmer’s hotel was the title to a golf club.  Thousands of acres, trees, lakes, clubhouse and so forth…  The moral of the story is: In the presence of a king, don’t ask for small gifts!*

Let’s be honest here. What was the last time you boldly asked for a big gift from the King of Kings?  I’m asking him for the nation of Swaziland. I’m asking him for a million orphans and one hundred thousand trained leaders.  Ridiculous, audacious things to ask for, but not in the presence of a king.  Whatever you ask for, if He’s in it, it’s yours. 
Let us know what great gift you’re asking God for and many of us in this blog community will stand in agreement with you as you ask.

*From Brennan Manning book The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus

Comments (28)

  • I’m asking God for a job that allows me to fully use the gifts He’s gave me to reach teens who will turn the world upside down.

  • I dont understand you say to ask big things of a big God i have spent over a year praying that God would bring a dad into my life. After a few months of praying he did and i had the opportunity to discover the love of a father and it is such a unique and powerfull love…but now he is leavng youth group, and our church in general bexcause God is calling him to another church. this man went from youth pastor to Dad and now God is taking him away… why would God give us such a big gift if he just planned on taking it away im at loss and confused ive prayed for over a year now and tomorrow is his last day. Where is God? What is He doing?

  • I want the youth and young adults of this generation from this country! I want my generation back!
    thanks for the reminder, seth!

  • I’m asking to be one of the 100,000 trained leaders.
    That goes for my wife and four kids, too.
    You’ve got 95.994 yet to find….

  • I pray that in our nation we will see a rise in the number of godly men that start to take a stand and take the role that God has given them as husbands and fathers and that as a result we will see much healing and restoration in many families and also children who will grow up with a healthy understanding of family, the role of a father and mother in the family and most of all the importance of Christ in the center of the family and every relationship.

  • Hahha… I really like this story.. =) Thanks for posting it up. I think there are time when what I ask from God is really too small for Him..

    I am asking God for a generation who knows who their God is and love God with all of their heart,their soul, mind and strength. I am asking God for a generation who will live a life of purpose, who know and live out their destiny, who would stand up boldly for their King and proclaim the coming Kingdom unto the world. In short, I am asking God for a generation of history makers.. =)

    Thanks for the good reminder, Seth..

    in Christ,

  • I am asking for the the freedom of a generation of young people from the snares of the enemy in the realm of the occult. I am asking that at the very least a remnant of the church rise up and bind the strongman from entering into our teenagers lives through popular movies (and book series)!!! I am asking for the keys to freedom for the youth of America. For discernment to be released over parents and pastors. For the tables to be turned over.

  • I am asking God for 500 houses for both men and women who are coming out of prison. I am also asking God for “connections” with other ministries so we can do a better job of covering ALL the bases. And lastly, for 2-3 major companies to see the benefit of hiring n ex con especially if we help them in our houses.

  • I am asking for Uganda and Romania. I am asking for loads of money to care for orphans and widows, here in Sarasota, the US and the world. I want more Lord. More of you Lord so that I can give more away!! I want to be poured out as an offering for you Jesus.

  • One thing I’m believing for is that my brother will be able to meet and have favor with King Mswati, lead him to Christ, and become a person he uses to impact their nation.

  • I want the Nsoko project, and I want 1,000+ young adults to do the World Race next year and I want them all to be fully funded!!! And I want every single person at AIM to be fully funded for the KINGDOM work they are participating in!

  • WOW !!! HE Has PERFECT Timing, Seems like this is a popular blog and it’s allowing people to dream and beleive. My Gift is a 30 Acre parcel (identified & being negotiated)to be used as a missions training ground and landing zone for pastors and misionaries to be restored in prepration for their return to the harvest feild.

  • In light of the other comments, my prayers still sound small. None-the-less, it is where I am.
    I’m praying to be debt free, which means needing at least $37,000 to pay off medical bills and part of our house loan that’s through our church.
    I’m praying for the freedom to lead teens to experience Christ’s power, and the team to join me in that. I want them to experience Christ’s power to set them free from sin, to worship, and to serve Him in radical ways. I’m even still working on experiencing that last one myself.
    I’m praying that God opens up the hearts of the students in the local middle school, just down the hill from my house.

  • Thank you, Scott. We were only asking God for 3 acres for a very similar ministry. We need to ask BIGGER, which is a faith stretch for us in this city. We’re fighting a clannish, keep-everything-in-the-family spirit here. We are asking for Communiity Discipleship Mission to be up and going in 2009. We’re asking for the kind of disciples who will fulfill many of the dreams everyone has mentioned, for here and the nations. The enemy is fighting us hard with serious physical afflictions. We’re asking for miracles in our physical bodies so we can be a part of equipping and enabling God’s work through them according to their calling. We’re asking for the testimony of the Church to be pulled out of the muck, and that we might shine like stars in a black night. We’re asking for workers to join us with whole hearts.

    “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably, abundantly above and beyond…”

  • HA! I have always been bold to dream AND BELIEVE for God-sized visions!

    I am believing God for a world-wide ministry to deliver the bound (all ages) from sex, drugs, orphaned, identity crisis, and lack of self esteem! I want to raise up leaders and structures in America, Thailand, Africa… at the very least!

    With God ALL things are possible!

  • As a social worker serving for International Justice Mission here in Cebu, I am asking my Heavenly Father for these good gifts: Economic and viable opportunities for survivors of sex trafficking here in the Philippines. And that each of these young women will come to know the love of Abba Father, who cares for them immeasurably and has amazing plans for their life.

  • i want these fabulous dreams & visions that god’s been giving me for nursing & the nations, loving on babies & families to come to life! praying for the patience, schooling & finances to get there.

  • I’m agreeing with you concerning Swaziland and asking the King of Kings to make me and my family part of the answer. I’d love more than just about anything in the world to be raising my family in Swaziland and loving those kids into the Kingdom of God.

  • this is so, so good!! thanks seth. i agree with everyone that posted. and I’m asking God for abolition of the sex industry and revival in Thailand!!!! and for the wisdom, strength and direction to go after His dreams that are way bigger than anything I can comprehend!

  • I am asking that God provide a way for me to get to training camp in 4 days, and that I have everything I need, camping supplies, and the correct amount of funds raised in time. I am asking that God miraculously deliver me from all financial debt in time to fulfill a calling to the October World Race. This seems enormous to me right now, but I know that the impact of me going around the world for a year, completely surrendered to Jesus, will be the greater story. God specializes in our “impossible” situations!

  • I live in Jamaica and for many years have worked in the Tourism industry. I have asked the Lord for a hotel for the body of Christ.Somewhere to refresh their souls in a atmosphere of total relaxation.I desire to go about doing good and so i ASK FOR the press down shaken together and running over type of financial blessing. God is.

  • Tiffany Berkowitz


    I think that it’s beautiful that you’ve been praying for a Father and that God brought someone into your life for a season to fill that role for you. It’s hard to understand sometimes why God gives and takes away, and why He brings people in and out of our lives during different seasons but He is ABSOLUTELY in this.
    What I think is so beautiful about this is that He has given you such a great example of what it means to be loved as a daughter. Ultimately, God is our PERFECT Father and He desires for you to encounter His perfect love as a daughter of His. Perhaps He brought this man into your life to show you just how intimate and purposeful a father-daughter relationship is supposed to be?
    I have a father like figure in my life, and in that relationship, I have learned what it looks like to be a daughter of a really good father. But that relationship is really there for the purpose of me learning what it means to let God be the Papa that He desires to be in my life.

    You are learning what it looks like to be His daughter, and that is quite possibly the most important thing there is.

    Praying for you, love.

  • I am asking God that the family I live with would legally adopt me without me having to ask…even if I do turn 18 in 8 months, it would bring much joy to my heart.

  • I’m praying and BELIVING in a daughter, a sister for my oldest daughter Faith. I will name her Haven Lea and raise is her in the ways of the Lord. Such a deep desire in my heart.

  • i’m so thankful you posted this today, Seth. it just seems to confirm something that happened to me in church yesterday…
    our pastor preached a sermon on Psalm 107 on the cycle of our wandering in the desert, crying out to God, his response (deliverence) and our response (praise/worship) and then it starts all over again. great sermon…
    anyways. as we were reading vs. 33-38 my heart and mind wandered to Swaziland and the Nsoko project. ( I find that happens more and more these days πŸ™‚ )
    as i reread these verses this morning, i couldn’t help but be struck by the parallels to what is happening in our country currently and the vision for Swaziland.

    “He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there, (AMERICA)
    He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there he brought the hungry to live and they founded a city where they could settle, they sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish. (SWAZI)”

    OK, i’ve gone on too long. thanks for your gift of words…

    oh yeah and count me in!!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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