Asking is Not Optional

“Ask and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7a).

In the kingdom of God, asking is needed! We are not simply to assume that because God knows we need the things of life, He will automatically supply them. Rather, God’s primary concern is not to supply our needs, but to deepen our relationship with him, even around the central issues of life. And so, God has shaped the advance of the kingdom around our need to be in regular communication with him.

Jesus requires us to ask! This is not an option.

Jesus did not merely suggest a possible series of alternatives for us when times were tough. He commanded us to ask, and then ended his teaching by indicating that God was not an ogre setting us up for trouble or disappointment. Using another contrast, he made clear that even though we have sinful propensities (“you who are evil”), we have sense enough to determine that when those we love make legitimate requests we should answer them. By clear implication, God does far better than we do!

We have been given a command from our King to ask. Commands from kings must not be evaded or avoided. They are to be obeyed, or else we do not serve our king, but only ourselves. It is time for us to ask, expecting God to answer. He told us to do it. This was not generated out of our own thinking.  It is best then to “Just do it!”

When we ask God, it is important to examine our needs to determine if the request is right in God’s sight. To determine whether this is so, answer the following questions to determine if this is a fair request:

1. Is my request fair and helpful to everyone concerned?
2. Is my request in harmony with the Word of God?
3. Will it blend with my gifts?
4. Will it draw me closer to God?
5. What is my part in answering this prayer?

–Taken from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka (Click on the title for more information on this resource).

Holy Father, forgive my disobedient heart when I think that I can fix or make something myself without asking You.  Help me to curb my arrogant activity as I pridefully try to meet my own needs in my own time, and in my own strength and power.  How amazing it is that You continually love me, even when I am so disobedient!  Teach me how to ask, expecting You to answer!

Prayer Points
Praise God for being a welcoming Father. Thank him for preparing an eternal home for all who believe (Jn. 14:2). Confess any unwillingness to show Christian hospitality to others (1 Pet. 4:9). Commit yourself to the practice of hospitality (Rom. 12:13). Ask God to help you separate Christian hospitality from self-absorbed “entertaining.”

Pray that the members of your congregation will excel in showing mutual care and intentional acts of love toward each other and to outsiders. Ask God to move your church out of its “comfort zone” when it comes to showing hospitality.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend  (Click on title for more information about this resource).