11 Your gates will always be open continuously; day and night they will not be shut, so that nations will bring you their wealth, with their kings leading them. 12 Because the nation and kingdom that will not serve you will be destroyed; those nations will be totally laid waste. 13 The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the elm, and the box-tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; yes, I will glorify the place where my feet stand. 14 The sons of those who exploited you will come bending low to you, and all who despised you will bow down at your feet; they will call you the City of Yahveh, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15 Instead of you being abandoned and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you magnificent forever, a joy from age to age. 16 You will suck the milk of nations, you will suck the breasts of kings; and you will know that I, Yahveh, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Strong One of Jacob. 17 Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will set Peace as your sentry and Righteousness as your ruler.
Isaiah speaks to a people who have only known fear of other nations – a people who took their security from strong walls that keep invaders out. He promised a day when all the nations around will nourish and protect Israel. They considered themselves abandoned and hated. Isaiah promised a day when they would be sought after and cherished. They considered themselves the recipient of all the lower grade materials and workmanship – the second rate. Isaiah promised a day when everything second rate would be replaced by the finest and the most costly.
Jesus encourages his followers to pray, believing in a heavenly Father who does not want to give us second rate. He said “which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a rock? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give proper gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in the sky give good things to those who keep asking him!” His point was not that there is some kind of divine loophole that believers can take advantage of to get more and better stuff. His point was that we have a Father in the sky who loves us, so we should not worry about asking him for more than we deserve. God’s people do not have to expect second rate.
LORD, transform our prayer lives. Help us to pray with a loving Father in mind, and expect first-rate answers to those prayers.
 Matthew 7:9-11.