“You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). If we truly believe the Bible means what it says, what then might we have received had we asked? What victory? What healing or provision? What protection, restoration or redemption? What glory and worship might our heavenly Father have received if we had but asked His help in our time of trouble?
Why then do we not ask? What prevents us? Is the way blocked to God? Do we suppose Him limited or uncaring?
Quickly we find the open door: “Come boldly to the throne of grace,” the writer of Hebrews exhorts us, “that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9, emphasis added).
The preparation is done, our answer is waiting, if only we come boldly and ask! We have no other precondition or criteria to achieve the answer God has made ready for us except one: we must believe! “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). “Let him ask in faith, with no doubting” (James 1:6).
Notice the vast extent of His invitation: Whatever things you ask!” What is overlooked in that majestic word? Is any need? Any concern or fear? Any pain or hopeless circumstance?
The One who answers is ready. The provision has been prepared. His abilities and compassions are limitless. Yet we often do not ask, we do not contend for our miracle, and His wonderful, sufficient response remains in the storehouse of His blessing.
Is it possible that God uses our adversities to teach us the benefit of asking? Does He let distress and dilemma have their way for a season while He waits to hear our cry? Does He use our desperate need to turn our eyes upward where we will find our Father listening and our answer at the ready?
Ask and you will receive! I know God is willing to move heaven and earth on our behalf. I saw it first as a small boy, as God healed a father who had been crushed beneath a two-ton tree. I’ve seen that power repeatedly as a pastor and intercessor, watching in silent amazement as God has raised the crippled, spared unborn children from certain death, restored financial fortunes, secured redemption, and healed countless dozens whose cause was written off as lost.
Christians today will do well to once again pray over their families and lives in an audacious manner. The promise to reverse negative circumstances is only guaranteed to those who pray. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land” (2 Chron.7:14). What does He mean by “our land?” Our land is not only our nation and world but also our lives. He has promised to heal the lives of those who are serious about prayer and righteous living.
Jesus Himself implored us to pray audaciously. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8). These are not the words of some popular success guru; these are the words of Jesus! What is promised to those who pray and don’t lose heart?
- Ask and you will receive
- Seek and you will find what you are searching for
- Knock and doors will be opened to you
The words of Jesus provide a wonderful assurance to those who will take the time to be diligent in prayer. Prayer transcends all religions. Every religion has its own idea of the proper means, times, and reasons for prayer. Various religions pray to a diversity of gods.
What sets apart the prayers of Christians from all others is that, while other religions pray to dead deities, Christians pray to the God that is very much alive.
We often make the mistake of believing that prayer is only about getting stuff from God. While it is true that prayer is the delivery route for things in the life of the believer, it is much more than that. Prayer develops trust in the heart of the believer that God absolutely will perform what He has said. For the believer, all intimacy with God is born out of trust that has been developed in times of prayer. Intimacy leads to faith and audacious praying. Faith and audacious prayer produce the miraculous.
Prayer Power for the Week of 6/2/2014
This week dare to trust God and pray audacious prayers! Ask—believe—and wait in faith to receive what He has promised. He is totally trustworthy and you can be confident that He will answer according to His will and for His glory. Continue to pray for worldwide revival, laborers to work God’s fields, the redemption of our nation and the peace of Jerusalem (2 Chron. 7:14).