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Is It OK to Ask God?

Categories: Jabez (Prayer of Jabez)

Asking is one way of praying. When you ask God for help, are you really, really expecting an answer, one you will listen for and then obey when you hear the answer? The Bible says that God answers when we ask. The only condition is to ask for something kind, loving, helpful to you and to others. In other words, if your request fits the requirements of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20) and the Beatitudes (Matt. 5), then go for it!

Now, this is not at all a new idea. Let's explore how several Bible characters asked God for assistance in reaching a goal. Jabez (I Chron. 4: 9, 10) prayed a prayer that's only one sentence long, though it includes four requests. It begins: "Oh, that you would bless me indeed…" This is not just idle daydreaming along the lines of "how nice it would be, God, if you would make me happy, prosperous, successful, abundantly supplied with all my deepest wishes." Jabez was emphatic—no nonsense, no beating around the bush. He was definite and specific, and "indeed" meant "NOW" -- big time! Others used different words for ask, such as give me, lead me, show me, teach me, but they were still asking God for something.

Jacob, who lived before Jabez, wrestled one long night with his fear of seeing Esau, his twin brother. Esau was the one who, by tradition, should have received his Father's blessing, but Jacob tricked Isaac and received the blessing instead. He had to run for his life! Now after many years, he was asking God to bless him, and God wiped out fear and resentment, replacing them with confidence and forgiveness. He even gave Jacob a new name, Israel. (Gen. 32: 24-30)

Do you remember David? The same David who slew Goliath? When he prayed, listened, and obeyed, everything was great. He asked God to bless him. He knew the customary military armor wasn't his protection. How could he run and fight with all that stuff on that he had never used? He convinced the King to let him fight as he knew best from his shepherd's experience—with the slingshot. Bottom line was he was already prepared to deal with this frightening giant. And you know the end of the story. (I Sam. 17: 32-49)

Then there was Solomon, the youngest of David's children, who, as a child, became king and ruled for 40 years. In I Kings 3, we have the story of Solomon realizing he was young and inexperienced as the new King, so he really needed help, and right now. His prayer started, "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart…" God not only gave him wisdom, but also prosperity and abundance in all things.

Elisha knew he was going to continue in Elijah's footsteps, but doing that was pretty scary for him; so scary that he asked for a "double portion" of wisdom. He wasn't taking any chances! (II Kings 2: 9)

Daniel was minding his own business and praying to God several times a day. He was successful in his duties in the palace (that was his office), and he was being promoted. Others became jealous and created an unfair law, which the King approved. Daniel refused to buy into worshipping the King instead of God. The poor King was tricked and really upset when Daniel had to spend the night in the den with hungry lions. Daniel prayed. Wouldn't you? His obeying the commandments, especially number one, saved him. And the King was relieved to find him safe, happy, and not upset with him the next morning. (Daniel 6)

Let's move into the New Testament. Jesus taught his disciples and the multitudes to "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Matt. 7: 7) James says: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1: 5)

So, if asking God to give us what we need has been taught and practiced successfully for at least 2000 years before Jesus, and Jesus, the Master Teacher, taught and practiced it successfully, don't you think it is perfectly OK to ask in the 21st century? It's not a sin, it is not being greedy. It is opening the door of our thoughts to accept all the wonderful things God has already prepared for each one of us. It is as normal as eating every day, and not just once a day, but maybe three times plus a few snacks. Are you daily ready, willing, and able to ask and knock? Absolutely! Ready, get set, ASK!