One of Jesus' most beloved passages on prayer has a rather odd twist to it:
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Why did Jesus use the metaphors of snakes and scorpions? Of course he is making a dramatic point that we have a good heavenly Father who only gives good gifts, but I suspect there is something more here. I shared this message last Sunday at New Hope Church--titled: When God's Answers Look Like Scorpions and Snakes. You can listen below.