“You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” - James 4:2, 3 New International Version
Amazingly, we often do not have what it is we desire simply because we do not ask it of God. Why don’t we?
First, asking requires communication. How is your prayer life? Perhaps the only time we DO knock on the gates of heaven is when we desperately want something. Our lack of communication [therefore] conjures within our mind’s eye a picture of God answering our prayer like the proverbial Jewish granny: “HOW COME IT IZ, YOUZ NEVA COLL?”
“And whatever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” – 1 John 3:22
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. In this is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.” – John 15:7, 8
“I cried unto Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who hath not turned away my prayer or His mercy from me.” – Psalms 66: 17-20
There are hundreds upon hundreds of commentaries and books written analyzing prayer. It has been defined, dissected, conjugated, correlated, parsed and pureed! Hours upon hours have been dedicated to explaining that which should be the simplest most compelling desire for any child of God; that is to have at our immediate disposal the ability and authority to cry out, “Abba, Father!”
Prayer, communication with Almighty GOD, is most vital part of our daily lives! We simply do not realize Who it is to Whom we have access. Almighty God!
The elements of prayer are important, however, just as a child begins to speak, just as they say their first words; in those moments, and in the daily moments that continue from that time, communication is established and becomes natural. Likewise, our loving Father thrills at those first words! He so desires to communicate and to bless! He desires so close a relationship with His children, so open, so natural that the very blessings He is already anxious to give are those requests upon His children’s lips.
My friend, I fear that all too often the lists of theological requirements for establishing communication with our Father are the very lists that cause us to recoil from initiating prayer. We focus upon our lack of faith, our sinfulness, our pride and we reason the impossibility of ever truly communicating with our Father.
It is time to take our prayer life out of neutral and GET OUR “ASK” IN GEAR! Celebrate it! By the very fact that you are reading this today, God is reaching out – He initiates the call and you can hear it ringing in your heart. Answer His call.
Perhaps it is the first time you have ever heard the ringing in your heart. Perhaps this is His call, introducing Himself through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Perhaps He calls to offer you the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), answer it today by opening your heart to Jesus finished work on Calvary, releasing your life to Him and His care.
Perhaps you simply have never started that true communication with our Father. Sure, you’ve prayed but not the fervent effectual prayer (James 5:16) that availeth much. It might be time for you to say your first words, “Abba”. Interesting, isn’t it? The word means, “daddy”.
Yes, it is time we all get our ASK in gear and willingly serve one another, love one another, forgive one another. It is time to be on the move – doing whatever it is that the Father puts before us to experience and accomplish and to enjoy. That’s right; TO ENJOY!
“Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and the door will be opened to you. For every one who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking it will be opened. [Think about it:] Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent? If you then, evil as you are, knowing how to give good and advantageous gifts to you children, HOW MUCH MORE WILL YOU FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN [perfect as He is] GIVE GOOD AND ADVANTAGEOUS THINGS TO THOSE WHO KEEP ON ASKING?” - Matthew 7: 7-11
Finally, let us remember Spurgeon’s words on this God who answers prayer; “There is always an open ear if you have an open mouth. There is always a ready hand if you have a ready heart. You have but to cry and the Lord hears; nay, before you call, He will answer, and while you are speaking He will hear.”
God bless you today and all your days that follow as you communicate with Him!