January 25, 2017

Forty Days to Flourish: Day 17

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

We are meditating on a powerful passage about prayer this week.  As you recite this passage, give emphasis to the phrase “Tell God what you need….” Do you do that?  The Bible says,

“… You don’t have the things you want, because you don’t pray for them.” James 4:2c (GW)

It’s our responsibility to ask!  Another version says,

“You have not because you ask not.”

Why don’t we ask God for the things we need?  When I was a child, I never had a problem asking my father for the things I wanted.  I didn’t always receive everything I asked for, but that never stopped me from asking.  When we have an intimate connection with our Heavenly Father, we won’t be shy in asking Him for what we want.  He knows our needs and our desires and, sometimes, He simply waits for us to ask.  I believe that, one day in heaven, we will see a huge warehouse full of stuff with tags on each item that says, “Never asked for”.  Jesus told His followers,

“Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.” John 16:23-24 (NCV)

Sometimes, we don’t ask because we have a false sense of humility which is really pride in disguise.  We may not think God would give us what we want or that He is far too busy with greater needs than our desires. God is not a celestial killjoy.  He delights in seeing His children filled with joy!  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.” Matthew 7:9-11 (NLT) 

Don’t be shy.  “… tell God what you need….”  God knows what you need, but maybe He’s just waiting on you to ask.  Asking brings us into an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, trusting that He loves us and wants to bless us.  It’s not a magic formula for getting everything we want.  God is not a genie, but we can ask and trust that He knows what is best for us. Prayer becomes dynamic when you make it specific.  Specific answers to prayer become a powerful witness to the existence and power of God.  They will become part of your life message that God will use to put His glory on display!  Start asking and record what God does.