DISCLAIMER: Acts 17:11.
Let’s ENGAGE with the WORD and with each other about the WORD.
Prayer is an essential component to every Christian’s relationship with God; It is a tool used and required to manifest God’s word. Additionally, prayer is also about aligning one’s will to God’s will (Luke22:39-46) and thus prayer should never be mistaken to an ATM transaction- all self-serving. Praying to God is a privilege which has been made possible by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and therefore we should never approach God’s throne and presence with pride but humility.
The idea of asking means you are in need and at the mercy of the one whom you are asking; God is not indebted to us in some way, like a government is accountable and indebted to its citizens the taxpayers. Our relationship with God is predicated on many foundational truths. Grace being one of them, thus God does not owe us anything. And we do not demand or get things from God because we deserve them, because we are unworthy and undeserving. But our relationship with God is based on grace and everything else flows from that. Hence, prayer is one of those privileges we must commune with God. In his grace, God answers prayer in the most amazing and favourable way. Granting us so many of our needs.
Prayer has many elements and ASKING is one of the elements on that list. Now, sometimes we don’t get to enjoy the fruits of our faith, and it’s not because of our lack of faith but the problem is in our ASKING. This blog’s objective is of exposing God’s truths in connection to ASKING so to ensure that our requests are appropriate and are approved by God.
So, without wasting any more characters, let’s see what God says about ASKING:
- At times it’s not even a matter of faith; we don’t get things because we don’t ask God for them, period. Remember the old saying “Cela uzophiwa”, well it’s true we can only get things from Dad only if we ask Him (James4:1-3 & Matthew7:7-11). And He encourages us to call to Him (Jeremiah33:3, John16:23-24) and He’ll answer. Additionally, we must check our tone; what I mean is that we need to ask from a humility perspective and not a proudful one (Luke 18:9-14 & James4:6).
- In John16:23-24, Jesus points out another reason for our asking being unsuccessful and this is due to us not asking in His name, which is JESUS CHRIST. Christ later in the scripture informs us of what will happen when we do the above: “ask and you’ll receive, and your joy will be complete”. Christ says we must ask in his name because He has all AUTHORITY in heaven and on EARTH (Matt28:18) and it’s God who gave Jesus this authority (Matt11:27; John3:35, 13:3, 17:2 & Eph1:20-21). So, the name “Jesus Christ” opens doors due to the authority bestowed on its owner because of his crucifixion and resurrection.
Authority (noun): power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.
Power (noun): the ability or capacity to do something or act in a way.
Furthermore, Jesus instructs us to ask in His name is because of our relationship with him, which of a sibling in nature. Jesus Christ is not only just our brother but is also our Lord, Saviour and King. He reconciled us with God and therefore we can approach the Father with confidence in prayer based on what Christ has done on the Cross (Hebrews 4:16). This relationship is only possible through one’s faith in Jesus Christ (Son of God, his Crucifixion and Resurrection); Rom4:21-26, John3:16-18, Col1:19-21. This then means that we are God’s children and co-heirs with Christ because of the Holy Spirit living in us because of our faith Jesus Christ (Acts2:37-39; Eph2:11-22 & Roms8:1-17). Find out what God says about His children asking in Matthew7:9-11.
- God further identifies MOTIVE(S) or INTENTIONS as another reason for us not receiving what we ask for, James4:1-3. The issue is that our asking is fueled by wrong intentions (motives), example: we ask for something because we want to hurt someone, we want to be seen (choma, qhayisa) and many other reasons. God says, in Proverbs16:2 & 1Chronicles28:9, He evaluates our motives and understands every motive behind every thought. Lastly in 1Corinthians4:5, he says that: He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. Therefore, your MOTIVES are important, and WRONG MOTIVE = Unsuccessful prayer.
“A tip to ensure that your motive(s) are pure, always have a scripture to back-up your prayer point. This will also assist in ensuring one prays according to God’s Will (next point).”
- Lastly, in 1John5:14-15, God says that He’ll do whatever we ask for provided it’s aligned with His WILL [DESIRE(S)]. And the only way to know God’s Will, is by reading the BIBLE, example: it’s is pointless asking God to make your plan of killing someone successful because that won’t happen due to God being against murder (Exodus20:13). Also remember the following line from the ‘Lord’s Prayer’: “…thy Kingdom come thy Will, will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. Remember it? Therefore it’s imperative for our prayers to be aligned with his Will.
It is very important to remember that sometimes the answer to our prayers will come to fruition after a while because of battles going on in the spiritual realm (Daniel 10:10-14, for context start reading from verse 1). Another reason is that of God’s timing, God only requires us to have faith (Mark11:22-24) and not stress about the mechanics (the How). So, whilst you are waiting and believing in God for the fruition of your prayers, kindly encourage yourself and meditate in the following scriptures: Luke11:5-11 & Luke18:1-8; Numbers23:19.
So then how do we ask God for things? We ask through prayer, why, because PRAYER is Talking to/with God (Phillipians4:6-7). Thus, we must ask properly and once we do this, we can then proceed to have FAITH, Mark11:22-24.
It’s also important to remember others (1Timothy2:1-2) when praying and our prayers should never be selfish. Lastly, in our prayers we must learn to express gratitude for what God has done for us, and not be a people that always ask without thanking for the answered prayers etc.
Remember, faith is believing what God says and it goes hand in hand with obedience. As people who profess faith in God, we need to be obedient to God our Father – Have this in mind as you think about Asking. Are you obedient to God? Do you genuinely love God (the Giver) or you just love His gifts/blessings? Are you obedient? The Father answers the prayers of the righteous not the wicked (Proverbs15:29).
In closing, it is important to cross-examine your request(s) against God’s word, which is the Bible, so to see & know what God says about your request and whether it’s aligned to His will. Cross-examining your request(s) against God’s word eliminates one having misplaced faith. If your request is aligned to His word, then 1John5:14-15 & Mark11:22-24 will happen.