It’s such a small word and, on the face of it, so simple.
In the gospels, Jesus tells his followers to ask. And he doesn’t say it just once.
Ask for provision. Ask for help. Ask and it will be given to you.
The promise of ASK is that you will RECEIVE.
You almost get the impression that Jesus wants to answer our prayers!
I have over the years, but more purposefully lately, put this small word – ask – to the test, to take up Jesus’ offer. I’m trusting him that this isn’t a mind game. He isn’t holding out the carrot just so I’ll pull the cart.
To ask is to trust. I want to trust the Lord. I will ask.
Though I’ve had increased eagerness to ask, I’ve also been surprised to find within me a resistance to asking – a desire to say instead, I’ve got this one, or this doesn’t require God’s attention, or I don’t want to…
I’ve needed help and instead of asking, I’ve chosen to worry, I’ve chosen to wallow. How strange.
I’m not sure what the barrier is to getting to the asking, but now I’ve got the word written big on my wall and in my heart: ASK.
I’ve been asking.
And I’ve discovered a few important things:
- The first is that the Lord cares about the minutiae. I have very specifically asked and the Lord has very specifically met my needs, ranging from a just affordable car repair and a surprise financial gift to cover the rest, a healed and healing friendship, plus inner peace, joy and increased faith, to name a select few. This is uniquely thrilling to consider that the Almighty God is so intimately aware of our needs and ready to meet them.
Let me clarify, this is no prosperity gospel. This is not a get rich scheme. The Lord gives us [more than] enough – a sustainability of life and faith.
- The second is that I have sensed more than ever the Lord’s closeness. To ask is to acknowledge that he’s within earshot. Even closer! He’s hears our heart-whisper. He interprets our groaning. He reads my journal! That’s OK, I’ve asked him to. Even the instant peace of placing our circumstances in his hand is a beautiful answer to prayer because it is to know he is close.
- Asking also means that you necessarily have to let go of pride. If you’re not asking then you must believe that you do not need to. This is the wandering we are prone to.
In the gospels, even the skeptics asked Jesus questions, though they had the wrong motives and evil intent. Jesus still answered. He still offered a worthy challenge, a beautiful nugget of truth even as he acknowledged their hardened hearts.
Eventually, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, those who should have known him best, being unable to trap him nor to receive the life-giving truth he offered, STOPPED ASKING. Matthew 22:45 is, to me, one of the most heart-breaking verses in the Bible, “…from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.”
- If you ask questions of the Lord, he will ask questions right back. Your faith with be tested by what he asks of you. Because this is not a one-sided relationship. The purpose of the exercise is not to “receive a sign” to make Jesus prove himself to you – as if he needs to #clapback – but to ask in faith believing in the Lord’s love for you and power to answer.
Do not be afraid to ask. Take Jesus at his word. Ask and you will receive. Don’t stop asking. Keep asking. Ask. Just ask.