praying-296517_640Matthew 7:10: Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (ESV)

1. Asking is dependence on God

Asking is a step of faith. If shows that you recognise that God is and that he is your source. The bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God, because he who comes to God must know that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

Paul enjoins us to pray without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5:17), he wants the power of prayer to continually speak in our life. While prayer is not just about asking, asking is a part of prayer, or else it means that you are self-sufficient, defeating the whole purpose of prayer. Prayer shows our dependence on God, and it is a way to avoid the pride that caused the devil to fall, as he thought that he could be like God (Isaiah 14:12-19).

2. Asking should be with faith

James said when we ask, we should ask in faith, not doubting because the one who doubts should not think he will receive anything from God. He is like a wave of the sea, unstable in his ways. And such should not thing that he can receive anything from God (James 1:5-8).

Peter asked Jesus: tell me to come to you walking on the water and Jesus answered and said “come,” and Peter started walking on water. But that rendezvous did not last long, as fear and doubt entered into the heart of Peter. When he allowed the fear to control him, he doubted if the word of Jesus could sustain him to the end and he sunk (Matthew 14:23-31).

He shifted his attention from Jesus to the fear he was feeling, which the devil was creating in him, from faith in his word which was the genesis of the miracle to the unpredictable natural element.

Applying that to the prayer of asking, we see that we must ask from a heart of faith, and faith is about being full of the word of God so much that we are not filled with anything else. To ask in faith means to ask with a firm assurance that God has already done it at the point when we ask.

3. Asking can be with thanksgiving

And rather than worry about it whenever it comes again into my mind, I should switch to the thanksgiving gear.

Paul said that we should ask in thanksgiving. We thank God already for the things we want, assured that he cares for us, and we provide. That, according to Paul, is the recipe for banishing anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7).

Paul said that rather than be anxious about things, with thanksgiving, we should let our request be made known to God, and he said that the result will be our heart filled with peace, an impregnable peace.

Thanksgiving helps to focus on mind on God in the midst of the troubles. It is the guarantee for peace while we wait for the manifestation of the request. Paul enjoins us to give thanks in all things, saying this is the will of God. The point is, thanksgiving is always appropriate.

4. We should ask boldly

The book of Hebrews says that we should come boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in times of need. We ask, knowing that we have the right to ask, knowing that we have been invited to ask. Jesus said, “ask, and it shall be given to you (Matthew 7:7).” We ask in Jesus’ name because we receive things on account of his righteousness and nothing more. Paul prayed that the church in Philippians will have their needs supplied according to the riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

5. In asking, we casting our cares on God

To not ask is to feast on worry. Peter said that rather than be worried we need to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God casting our cares upon him because he cares for us (1Peter 5:5-7). The words of Jesus in the focus verse is to bring the people to an understanding of how God cares for them, how he is near them, how he is just a prayer away, how they do not have to sludge it away on the earth, feeling dejected, lost and alone.

God will never get angry when you ask what you need because he is your father. Jesus said that the Father will not harm us because those who are even our earthly father, with their limitations and imperfections, give to their children good things, how much more the heavenly father, the epitome of goodness and love, how much more will he give us good things (Luke 11: 5-13)?

6. Asking is the gateway to the unseen

God said: call unto me and I will answer you, I will show you great and mighty things which you did not know (Jeremiah 33:3).

That was the experience of Daniel. His journey to prophetic started with a vibrant prayer life. He would not miss his time of fellowship with God. Three times a day he prayed facing Jerusalem. Though physically removed from that ancient capital of Israel, as he was brought from there as a slave to the foreign land, he still felt a connection there through prayer.

In answer to his prayer, and as he asked God to explain things to him, God sent angels, to bring him to deep revelation of things to come.

7. Prayer as connection with God

For us Christians, we are connected to God, to the heavenly place where God abides, and in the place of prayer we emphasise that; we emphasise our divine connection. If we regard the unseen as more powerful than the seen then we will take prayer as very important, then we are living by faith and not by sight (Hebrews 11:3, 2Corinthians 5:7). Then we are emphasising our spiritual life.

A life of prayer is an elevated existence. We see Jesus praying on the mountain, not because of the special spiritual significance of that but as a symbol of what happens in the spirit as we pray. To pray, is to reach out to God, it is to reach God.

In prayer, the focus is removed from ourselves and put on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Our faith is focused on Jesus, and not on ourselves. It is on what he has done, who he is, how he loves us, and what he wants to do in our life.

We stopped looking to our pocket for sustenance but God’s own pockets since we are his children. Because we believe we confess our confidence in the divine provision, and pray assured that God will come through, that he care for us, and knows what we need and has made provision for them before we even asked.

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