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Friday, April 27, 2007

Pray About Everything

James 4:2 says this:

"You don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it." (NLT)

This simple truth has struck me in a fresh way this week.

Can I Really Ask For Anything?
My 9 year-old son has really grasped the teaching of Jesus in Lk 11:5-8. His persistence in asking for a particular item over the last few weeks has been a perfect illustration of this text. He knows that he can ask for anything. He won't always get what he asks for, he doesn't always understand what's best for himself. But as his parent, it is my responsibility to make the decisions about when to give and when to withhold. And if I withhold I always explain why.

In childlike faith we can come to our heavenly Father and ask for anything knowing that He will say "yes" if it's right for us and "no" if it's not. And if we pay attention we will hear His explanation. Sometimes the answer will not be "yes" or "no", but "this is what you need to do in order to receive what you want."

It's not our problem to try to work out what God wants to give us before we decide whether or not to ask for it. Simply ask, in the childlike way that my son does, and wait for the answer. God is not an ogre who's going to tell us off if we ask for the wrong thing. But He does want us to come and ask both for what we want and what we need. As James says, sometimes the only reason we don't have these things is because we haven't asked.

Prayer College Assignment
Spend some time reflecting on whether there are things you haven't asked your heavenly Father for because you weren't sure if you should. Then take some time to simply ask God for those things. Be prepared for Him to give you His answer and His explanation and if He requires you to act, then do so.

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