Why Ask God?
A powerful aspect of prayer consists of asking God in Jesus name for many things. Some think that God knows what we need before we ask, so we need not bother.
Luke 12:29 And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
Luke 12:30 For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.
If we do not seek in prayer those things that God knows we need, why ask?
God knows we need our daily bread or bread for tomorrow, yet Jesus tells us to ask for that bread in prayer. Why? God gives rain for crops growth to the good and evil, so why ask?
God will put people into situations where they have to ask for many things including food, in, say, during a drought. He put Israel in a position between a devastating army and a huge body of water. Then they cried out to Him. How many times did David call out to God to save him from some malicious and deadly enemy? God allows or causes circumstance to come over us to motivate us to pray for that which we might assume He knows we need.
Psa. 69:17 And do not hide Your face from Your servant,
For I am in distress; answer me quickly.
Psa. 69:18 Oh draw near to my soul and redeem it;
Ransom me because of my enemies!
Psa. 69:19 You know my reproach and my shame and my dishonor;
All my adversaries are before You.
Why do we have to ask?
Generous and Compassionate
Gods compassionate compares to none other. Just look at the planet: food in abundance, water to drink and wash, material for shelter and furniture, energy for heat and cooling and transportation, light for seeing, music for hearing, and language for communicating. These God gives to all made in His image on this amazing planet, and more. And, for those who show loyalty, He offers even more blessings. He often turns from His anger upon repentance, so He can bless rather than curse. God loves lovingkindness and being generous.
Psa. 25:6 Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Psa. 40:11 You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
Psa. 51:1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Psa. 69:16 Answer me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good;
According to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me,
Psa. 72:13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And the lives of the needy he will save.
Whom Does God Have Compassion on?
While pouring out His blessings on all on Earth, God saves His special love and compassion for certain people loyal to Him.
He has compassion on those who fear Him, those who stand in awe of the Creator, who stand in awe of His mercy, who stand in awe of His lovingkindness, who stand in awe of His salvation, and who stand in awe of His compassion.
Psa. 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Those who confess their sins, their antagonism toward a compassionate God, find that God has compassion on them.
Prov. 28:13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
Those who not only confess their sins but also repent of evil, find that God has compassion on them.
Is. 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the LORD,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
Those who look at the Law of life and take pleasure in it, find that God has compassion on them
Psa. 119:77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
For Your law is my delight.
Those who demonstrate that intense loyalty knights of old held dear, find that God has compassion on them.
Psa. 135:14 For the LORD will judge His people
And will have compassion on His servants.
Hos. 6:6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Finally, those who decide to act upon the fact they are made in His image, find that God has compassion on them.
Matt. 5:7 ¶ Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Col. 3:12 ¶ So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Jesus Has Compassion
Sometimes Jesus railing against hypocrisy and not living up to faith can allow us to misjudge his attitude. Instead of understanding his compassion, we might get the impression he is always criticizing, but nothing could further from the truth. His words and actions demonstrate his love and compassion: look at his love in dying for sinners. He seemed always to be searching for someone to help, someone to feed, to heal, to instruct, to love. He asked, what is it you want me to do. He found the man who couldnt get into the healing pool, and healed him. He saw the human condition and wanted more than anything to remedy it.
Matt. 20:32 And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, What do you want Me to do for you?
Matt. 20:33 They *said to Him, Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.
Matt. 20:34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.
Mark 1:41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and *said to him, I am willing; be cleansed.
Mark 6:34 When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.
Mark 8:2 I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat.
When Bear Fruit
Why ask? We ask because we know God and Jesus are compassionate and understanding. We ask because we know we can and get answers. Even when God knows what we need, we ask because we show God that we know the true God and Creator and His Son, Jesus. We do not ask counterfeit gods, or fictitious Jesus's. Asking the real God and Jesus proves our faith and loyalty.
And, as we know faith works:
Faith works when Jesus words abide in us.
Faith works when we abide in Jesus by our using his words.
Faith works when we walk in the light of goodness, righteousness, and truth.
Faith works when we put on the new self, made in the image of God.
Faith works when we refuse falsehood and only talk about Gods Truth.
Faith works when we release our anger before it festers, even before the day ends because dwelling on vengeance and hate opens our minds to the schemes of Satan.
Faith works when we work hard enough to give to those in real need instead of stealing.
Faith works when we strive to edify others instead of criticizing and tearing them down, which leaves them hurt to the core.
Faith works when we do not allow circumstance or peoples criticisms to make us bitter, wrathful, gossips, and retaliatory.
Faith works when we walk in love and imitate God, and so be kind, tender-hearted and forgiving.
Eph. 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Eph. 4:25 ¶ Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
Eph. 4:26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Eph. 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Eph. 4:28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
Eph. 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Eph. 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Eph. 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Eph. 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Eph. 5:1 ¶ Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Eph. 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Ask in Faith
Surely, faith is sure of Gods promises and His ability and willingness to keep His Word. Faith asks because, asking proves ones faith. If a person didnt believe in Gods promises, he would not ask. But, if God knows what we want, why do have to ask? He wants us to ask because when we ask, we enter into a dialogue with God. We respond to Gods promises by asking according to His promises. He wants us to ask because when we ask, we speak the words of faith toward His promises. And faith is very important.
You see when we ask, we believe we have received what we ask according to His promises. Then God might test or strengthen our resolve by delaying His response to let us know how strong our faith is. Abraham waited a couple of decades to receive the promises; that is how strong his faith was. If we doubt, the time delay could make us waver and God then shows us our weaknesses and strengthens us.
Matt. 21:22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
Matt. 14:28 ¶ Peter said to Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.
Matt. 14:29 And He said, Come! And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Matt. 14:30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me!
Matt. 14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt?
Faith is loyalty shown by words and deeds, but faith also is the knowledge of Gods Word. When we understand Gods Word, we are at one with Him He in us by His Words in us, and us in Him by speaking His Words, asking in faith. All believers are at one with God and, therefore, at one with one another. When we reach that maturity of Gods Words abiding in us, we then no longer are tossed about by the waves of trickery and false doctrines. When we ask in faith, we speak the Truth.
Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Eph. 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
Eph. 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
When Gods Words abide in us inspiring us to words and deeds of faith and Truth, we have the faith of God. More on this in a subsequent magazine article. Amazing things can happen if we truly desire and believe that what we say or ask according to Gods promises will be fulfilled from calming the seas, stopping the rain, starting the rain, opening up the Red Sea, moving a tree or mountain. If we ask without doubting and according to Gods promises, we have received what we have asked for; if not now in due time when our faith is ready.
Remember, faith is blocked by a lack of forgiveness for obvious reasons. If we believe Gods promise of eternal life because Jesus obtained forgiveness for us and we do not forgive, we do not believe the promise. When we forgive, we prove the promise of eternal life.
Mark 11:22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, Have faith in God.
Mark 11:23 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
Mark 11:25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
To Give Us Joy
Jesus explains the second most important reason for asking in faith. Its impact is so startling and wonderful; we must ask even if God knows what we want. Give us our daily bread. God gives us plants and animals for food, rain in due season, and the means to till, plant, harvest or pay for the food; yet Jesus tells us to pray for our daily bread. Why? By praying for our daily bread to the One God and Creator, we acknowledge Him and Him only. By praying for our daily bread to the One God and Creator, we tell God we believe that He is our provider. By praying for our daily bread to the One God and Creator, we show our faith in Him alone and His promises.
When we ask in pray, God gives us more than what we ask for. He also gives us something greater than what we might ask. He fills our heart with joy. That is why we ask: to receive joy.
Ask in Jesus Name
Jesus has received all authority from the Father, and so when we ask in his name, that is, by his authority, Our Father in Heaven joyfully desires to give us what we ask according to His promises and will. We know that when we please Our Father in Heaven and bear fruit, He, being so generous and compassionate, has it in His Nature to give us what we want.
John 16:26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf;
John 16:27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.
John 16:28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.
Do Not Covet
Certain attitudes impede our getting what we ask for. Naturally, if we are not entirely sure that we want, deserve, or really need something, our vacillation precludes our getting what we ask for because Our Father in Heaven is not sure if we want it or not. Being double minded must surely frustrate Our Father in Heaven immensely. He wants us to stand up to Him and know what we want, know what He promises, and know that what we ask for is part of His will.
Further, when we ask without a scintilla of doubt for truly selfish purposes, God says no! He does not explain that what is ask for is not either a part of His will or promises because asking awry brings out His anger. He says no!
It is the Eve syndrome: inordinate desire toward selfish ends. People fight among themselves and are conflicted internally because they want and want. We are in the age of extreme selfishness and self-centeredness. If it feels good, do it regardless of the consequences. God will have no part of it, for He is love and His desire is compassion and generosity. Those who desire differently will never get an answer from Him.
He suggests that we imitate Him and desire compassion and generosity. He suggests that we think of others more highly than us. When we value love more than self, Our Father in Heaven cannot but pour out blessings from heaven.
James 4:1 ¶ What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?
James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us?
James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Eph. 5:3 ¶ But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
Eph. 5:4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Eph. 5:5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Eph. 5:6 ¶ Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
What can we say about this? Our Father in Heaven loves compassion and generosity. While God gives rain in due season to the evil and good, He showers His loyal servants with blessings beyond what can they can hold. Indeed Jesus lived to help and heal, not to mention his providing salvation to all people. But, he warned believers to show fruit of faithfulness.
While Our Father in Heaven knows what we need, He likes to hear it from us so that our joy may multiply. He wants us to ask; He wants us to articulate our desires. Joy comes from the answer of prayer.
But, most of all Our Father in Heaven loves to answer our prayers because we then give Him glory. When we give God glory, we give Him profound praise and acknowledgement as the only One who made the world and all things in it.
John 14:13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Gil Kovacs, Pastor
Sabbath Christian Church