Day 6: Ask

Ask

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b

Yesterday we looked at the importance of listening with our hearts in prayer. Developing our listening in prayer is crucial because this is how God is able to lay His agenda over our hearts. God’s greatest work in prayer is to align our hearts with His own.

Moreover, Jesus makes a huge promise to those whose hearts and will are one with the Father’s:

Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. John 16:23

In fact, Jesus repeats this same promise six different times in the Gospel of John (John 14:13-14, John 15:7, John 15:16, John 16:23-24). Jesus is quite adamant about this promise of prayer.

However, listen to the rhythm of how this promise flows out of our communion with God:

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

Yes, it is true we can ask of God whatever we wish – in fact, the bolder the better. That is why we ask in Jesus’ name (John 16:24). The name of Jesus gives our prayers royal access. No matter who you are or how “good or bad” you are at praying, asking in Jesus’ name brings your prayers right before the throne of God. That’s a glorious thing because that’s how we receive answers from God.

James makes it clear that some of you “do not have because you don’t ask.”

At the same time, our heart’s motive is paramount to God’s answer:

You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:2-3

So receiving answers is not about the method of asking, it is about your heart’s motive. Is prayer ultimately about you or God? Your will or God’s will? It truly boils down to this.

Prayer is both asking boldly and at the same time surrendering completely. Answers come from asking, but the power of asking is in the abiding. This is a prayer Jesus prayed three times until His greatest desire, His Father’s will, was completely settled in His heart:

“Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36

Ask boldly and surrender completely. Through this process God reveals, shapes, and unites His will with yours. When your heart then becomes all about God’s agenda, there is no ask He will not answer.

One Christian author, Don Nori, shared such a discovery:

For years I searched for a key that would open Heaven every time I prayed. I wanted to know that God would both hear my prayer and respond to my heart when I talked to Him. I began to hunt for a prayer that He would absolutely love—a prayer that would give me the peace of heart and mind that comes from knowing He is at work in response to what I ask Him to do. After years of searching, it came to me one day that all I need to do is to ask God to do what He already wants to do! This is the only thing that assures me He will answer my prayers.

This is how we enter into the “Yes” of God, and Jesus said over and over again that this indeed is the prayer that God loves to answer.

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20

Take these verses above into prayer today, and may you enter into and enjoy the very “Yes” of God.

Remember to join us tomorrow at 7PM at GSIS in Room #312 as we conclude our week of prayer and fasting together.

Fasting Tips

If you are fasting all food for 7 days you may well start to feel tired and weak. Your body will look for “food” from around your body and your muscles may well be affected. Be wise about physical activities, don’t exert yourself unnecessarily and be sure to get enough sleep. In colder weather take care to wear warm clothes when you go outside – your body will have less food to turn into heat energy. Be sure to drink plenty of water.

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