Affirmation #5: Learn to Ask for What You Need
How many of us are discouraged and only expect more of what we already have? I've got good news! We don't have to stay stuck in our circumstances and leave it to chance that things will change for the better on its own. God has given us the ability to take a proactive approach in our life situation, which can eliminate discouragement and give us hope for a new future. In Matthew 7:7, Jesus is not just explaining a principle of prayer but some type of law of the Universe:
“Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you shall find; Knock and the door shall be opened to you.”
This verse explains how God works-He has somehow made asking, seeking, and knocking required components of a righteous, transformed, and abundant life. These three ideas build upon one another and tells us we can be proactive in changing our lives through requests, actions, and specific, persistent exploration.
Many times, we tend to spiritualize this or qualify it in some way, because it seems selfish to ask for things we want. And some of us have a fatalistic point of view and believe that what will happen will happen and nothing can be done about it. But here Jesus says that way of thinking is faulty. You can change the way your life unfolds. You can live a different life. You can have better relationships. You can live a different kind of life...but only if you ask.
In Ephesians 1:18-20, Paul tells us that God will open the eyes of our heart to know the hope He called us to. God has not left us down here to fumble around and figure things out on our own. He has given us permission to ask and power to act. Jesus is clearly stating that asking God will result in change and answers to prayer, which is a general principle and works across all the relationships of our lives. Do not miss this. Asking is a powerful technique for all of life. It is not just God that we must ask; we need to ask our spouse. We need to ask our family members. We need to ask our boss. We need to ask our colleagues. We need to ask ourselves. We need to ask our friends. We need to ask our enemies. Asking is like a magic wand that brings about things that weren't going to happen without it.
Now realize that this kind of asking requires a humble, gentle, and flexible approach to someone who can say NO. Asking in the right way, respecting the other person's ability to say no is a very humbling experience. But it is an essential part of successful living.
I can remember teaching this idea to my oldest daughter, "You must be willing to ask even when the other person is more powerful and has the right to say NO." She began using this powerful technique with amazing results. She was able to square away three major relational problems at school just by asking the more powerful person to act differently towards her. The power of a humble “ask” is enormous.
Realize that the law of reversibility is also true of this principle. If you don’t ask you will not receive; if you don’t seek, you will never find; if you don’t knock, the door will never open. God has designed our universe to require your involvement and your humble requests. Without your asking, seeking, and knocking, your life stays exactly where it is. If on the other hand you begin asking, seeking, and knocking in every relationship of your life appropriately and humbly, everything can change.
Too often we expect everyone to read our mind, so we shouldn’t have to ask for it. This is naïve and foolish. If God who can read our mind wants us to ask Him before He grants us certain requests, then we should not expect everyone else, who can’t read our mind, to give us what we don’t ask for.
You receive what you ask for; people will not give you what you do not ask for. Even God will usually not answer prayers you do not pray. Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given to you.” The Apostle James says the same thing more bluntly, "You do not have because you do not ask." In order for you to fully enjoy life and in order for society, marriage, work, and friendship to work, you must ask for what you need. You must be involved in asking for the things that would make your life better. Break down your desired future into numerous component parts and begin asking for each one to be done. Before you know it, your vision of the future may be taking shape right before your eyes.
Also, make sure that you stay open to something better than what you asked for. Ephesians 3:20 says that God is able to do immeasurably more than what we ask for or can imagine, according to his power at work within us. Many times, God and other people in our life will tweak or change our request in such a way that we could be disappointed. But it is usually something even better than what we originally asked for. We can trust God is for us and that He wants our best (Rom 8:31).
One must realize that asking in prayer is important, but that asking in every area of life is a part of a righteous life and the change that you are seeking. The person who lives the successful life gets used to asking for the change that they believe is righteously necessary. Business is full of asking. Education is full of asking. Parenting is full of asking. Personal development is full of asking. All of life is full of asking and those who become skilled at this ability reap the best rewards. So ask away and see what God will do.
Join me next week for affirmation #6.
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Follow God as You Learn How to Talk to Him!
The Lord's Prayer is one of the most common Scriptures in the world. Thousands have memorized this prayer and have no idea they are reciting one of the most powerful keys to intimacy with God and access to His power. Unlock the hidden keys to ignite God's power here and now and watch your spiritual life explode to a whole new level.
Join Dr. Gil Stieglitz in Getting God to Talk Back, as he explains how Jesus teaches a whole new way of approaching and dialoguing with God about the things in life that matter to Him most as we live for Him. Includes a verse-by-verse analysis of Matthew 6:9-13, prayer exercises, and practical applications to help readers progress on their spiritual journey.
We all want to experience unimaginable blessings and God's power in our lives--this is where it all begins.Talk with God about the things that matter to Him, and He will talk back.