Why Don't I Ask? | Lessons from James

Welcome to Real Life.  Happily exhausted, our family was exiting the Magic Kingdom down Main St. USA.  Suddenly five-year-old Cal looked up and said, “But, I didn't get to meet Mickey Mouse.”  My heart sank.  I had no idea he wanted to meet Mickey.  The park was closing.  It was too late to go back.

“Why didn’t you ask?” I replied. I’m his mom. I love him. I would have gladly arranged for my son to meet Mickey Mouse. If only he had asked. 

“You desire but do not have …
You do not have because you do not ask God.”[1]

What am I longing for?  God is my heavenly Father. He loves me. Nothing is too hard for him to arrange. So, why don’t I ask?

God is omniscient.  He sees and knows my deepest thoughts and needs.  Why do I need to ask?  Why doesn’t he just meet my needs?

When God answers my specific prayers it builds my faith.  I know he’s there.  It is powerful evidence of God’s presence in my world.  More importantly, communication builds relationship.  I grow closer to Jesus as I speak with him in prayer.

God is sovereign.  He is going to do his will regardless of whether or not I pray. So why pray?  Do my prayers make a difference?

God is sovereign.  And yet, prayer moves him to action.  Joshua prayed and the sun stood still.  Elijah prayed and a dead child revived.   Peter prayed and a crippled man walked.  My prayers don’t control God. However, often he waits at the sidelines of my life until I invite him to step in.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”[2]

I've asked, many times.  God hasn’t answered.

God always answers.  It’s just that sometimes his answer is no or wait.  He knows what’s best for me.  He sees the complete picture, while I only see a portion.  In eternity, I’ll see the wisdom in all he does.  For now, God says, “Trust me.”  Trust is a critical in prayer.  If I pray without believing God can or will respond, he won’t.[3]

He answers no to selfish prayers: “… you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”[4]  I want a fun, easy life.  (Doesn’t everyone?)  God’s not opposed to fun and easy.  However, our world is full of hurting people. Do I care?  Or is everything always about me?

My heart will never be perfect in prayer. Still, God wants me to come and ask. As we talk, he works on my heart. He is my Father. He wants to give me good gifts.[5]  A meeting with Mickey is no problem. If only I would ask.

Lord, please give me faith to ask and wisdom to ask well.  Amen.

Something to think about…
  • What is your soul longing for?  Ask Him.
  • Struggling to believe?  Ask a friend to pray.  Often friends have faith when ours is gone.
  • God’s answer to our prayers might look different than we expect: “Blessings” by Laura Story.
  • Scott Hamilton talks about learning to ask God in "I Am Second." (10 min. long, but very encouraging).

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