Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

We pray behind some remarkable promises from Jesus about the power of prayer. You can check out yesterday’s post if you’d like to see a few of those commitments. Essentially, the founder and CEO of the universe offers to put himself at our beckon call! It seems crazy and backwards, but he promises to serve us…

 

Yet as bold as these promises are, they come with specific conditions.  There are some lines of fine print at the bottom of the page: “If and only if…” God will honor his promise to hear and respond to prayer… under specific circumstances. Here is one “if/then” condition we can find in the Bible.

 

Ask: “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).  We must ask.  Just before Jesus begins the “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6 he offers this: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” But then Jesus immediately challenges us to “ask…” There seems to be a reason for this. Asking is not to inform God, it is a contact point for our relationship with God.

 

The asking-response sequence of dialogue seems to be the procedure God has designed for running the universe. Rather than designing a machine, he has facilitated relationship. God wants conversation and he wants us to see by experience that we can’t live up the duties he assigns us – raising children, earning a living, living in health, without walking step by step in a relationship. Life is team sport, teamed with God. And asking helps us see the reality of our position: God is God and we are not!

 

Do you have a hard time asking people for things? I do. I don’t want to humble myself or be in their debt. But unless I ask God for the things I can accomplish on my own, there is no promise that God will initiate on his own. He’s waiting to be asked because asking is an admission that we’re sane and know the reality of our situation.

 

What should you ask for from God today? What failure are you facing is now giving you the opportunity to ask? Ask that now…

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