Ver. 9-11. Asking is but a verbal expression of an inward desire; no man desireth that which is evil, but that which he at least apprehends to be good, that is, suitable unto his wants. As earthly parents, knowing that their children, though through weakness of understanding they may ask that which is really evil for them, yet will not give them any such things, and gratify their ignorance; so neither will your heavenly Father, knowing what you truly need, and what is truly good for you, give you any thing which he knoweth is not suitable for you, but noxious to you: but if you ask any thing which is either absolutely good for you, and cannot be evil, or which your heavenly Father knoweth to be good for you under your present circumstances, you may be assured, considering he is your Father, and hath as great a kindness for you as an earthly father for his child, and that he is your heavenly Father, and therefore hath a sufficiency to give, will give good things to you asking them of him: and this you may be assured of from that good will and inclination which you, though you come infinitely short of the perfection and good inclinations of your heavenly Father, find in yourselves towards your children; for you derive from him, as his children, all that goodness and benignity which you have. If therefore we in prayer ask any thing of God, which may be good or evil under different circumstances, and receive it not, we may conclude, that though we thought what we asked bread, yet indeed it was a stone; though we thought it a fish, yet God saw it was a scorpion; and account that God answered our general desires, which were for some good, by denying our specific request.