Go Ahead, and Ask!

What do you pray about–little or much?

In the Bible, we find examples of all kinds of requests made to God. People prayed for themselves, for their loved ones, for their nation and, yes, even for their enemies.

Jesus Christ taught His disciples: “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you'” (John 16:23). We can understand from this that what we ask for should be in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ, because we are asking in His name!

If we aren’t careful, though, we may limit ourselves–we simply may not go far enough in our prayers. There is a type of an example of this. The prophet Elisha, who was on his deathbed, told Joash to do something that would have meant the removal of the enemy nation of Syria: “Then he said, ‘Take the arrows’; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, ‘Strike the ground’; so he struck three times, and stopped” (2 Kings 13:18).

However, the king failed to zealously continue to do what he should have done: “And the man of God was angry with him, and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times'” (verse 19).

Do we stop short in our prayers? We have this instruction from Jesus: “‘So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you'” (Luke 11:9).

James addresses the problem in this way: “…you do not have because you do not ask” (4:2). James adds this: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (4:3).

So, what should we pray about? On the one hand, we are taught to be bold and filled with faith when we appear before God in prayer, while, on the other hand, we are cautioned to ask according to God’s will!

The answer is to look to the examples in God’s Word. We see requests made and answers given: the dead were restored to life and the sick healed; individuals and nations were delivered in times of great trials; and those who turned to God in repentance through prayer and obedience received the gift of God’s Holy Spirit–becoming the begotten children of God and destined to receive eternal life!

Jesus prayed fervently and often about events in His own life as well as for those of us who now follow Him (Read His prayer in John 17–specifically verse 20). He asked, and He asked for a lot–and God answered Him! He is our example, so, go ahead, and ASK!

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