Impact

Discover Prayer (Part I): We Must Ask!


We must remember to ask our Heavenly Father for the things that we need, want, and desire (James 4:2. Philippians 4:19.Psalms 23:1.Psalms 37:4).

There are several different Koine (common) Greek words that we translate as our English word “ask.”  Furthermore, the one used in this verse (James 4:2) is Strong’s number 154 aiteo {ahee-teh’-o} which Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible defines as “a demand of something due.” (2)

This is not to imply that we are trying to boss God around or be rude.  However, it is like being at the supper table with your family and asking them to pass the salt.  The salt is rightfully yours because you are part of the family; however, it will not be of benefit to your food unless you politely demand (ask) it to be passed your way.

Furthermore, we are to ask our Heavenly Father for things that we need, want, or desire, in Jesus’ name (John 15:16. John 16:26. John 16:23) (3). However, realize ending our prayer with the traditional “In Jesus’ name” is more than a formula, password, or closing to a letter. It is to be a realization that our right to obtain anything from our Father is based on the completed work of the cross of our Savior. It is an acknowledgment that we are not asking based on our own name or works but rather in our Lord Jesus’.

Remember, we are His bride (1) in the betrothal period prior to the wedding (1) which in ancient Jewish custom means we already have His name. Just like when a woman marries today they traditionally change their last name.

For example, if your spouse went to the bank to withdraw money from your account in their maiden name they would get nothing. However, if they used their married name they could get everything.  It is the same way with our Heavenly Father for we have been given the name of Jesus! Again, the name given to us when we were born physically will get us nothing from God.  However, the name was given to us after our spiritual birth – Jesus – will get us everything! (Acts 4:12. Ephesians 3:14,15. Revelation 3:12)

That is, we are to ask of God based on Jesus’ finished work as if He were asking the Father through us. This means we are to come boldly and not sheepishly, as a son and not a slave, as one who has been forgiven and not full of self-condemnation, and as a joint heir and not a beggar (Hebrews 4:16. John 1:12. 1 Corinthians 1:30. 2 Corinthians 5:21. Romans 8:17). Suppose you are at your Earthly father’s supper table; how would you ask something to be passed?  Would it be given to you?  Then how much more will our Heavenly Father give good things to those that ask! (Matthew 7:11. Psalms 91:14,15. Jeremiah 33:3. 1 Peter 3:12)

Know our prayers do not take God by surprise, He knew of the need before it happened and supplied the solution by His unique Son’s death on the Cross of Calvary (Matthew 6:8). In other words, He has prepared the table in the presence of the enemy (Psalms 23:5), but it will not do us any good unless we ask Him to pass the food!

Note the hidden word ASK twice in the verses below:

Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who Asks receives, and the one who Seeks finds, and to the one who Knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ASK him! (Matthew 7:7-11)

Ask

Seek

Knock

Get the message – ASK!

Furthermore, we must be specific with our requests to God (Matthew 20:29-34). Again, if you were at the table and simply said, “pass the food” then nothing would come your way.  It is when we specifically ask for the corn, beans, potatoes, etc. that we receive.  Notice in the previous verses that when the blind men asked for mercy they did not receive what they desired.  However, when they were specific they received.

Lastly, we can even ASK for the wisdom to know how to ASK! (James 1:5)

Application Prayer:

Heavenly Father without your wisdom we do not know how to ask; therefore, we do not have.  Furthermore, the lost are watching your children to see if You meet our needs better than the World meets their needs.  For the sake of Your glory, give us the wisdom to ask so that the world might know You are the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen.  (Based on James 4:2. 2 Corinthians 3:2. Exodus 34:6. 1 Timothy 1:17).

Discover Pray Series:

1. We Must Ask (1)

2. Seek Only Our Heavenly Father’s Glory (1)

3. Pray the Promise Not Just the Problem (1)

4. Pray in Faith (1)

5. Live a Lifestyle of Unconditionally Loving Others (1)

6. Have an Attitude of Gratitude (1)

7. Be Persistent (1)

8. Power Dressing for Prayer (1)


Topical Index of Hal’s Blogs (1)

(1) Left-click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.

(2) See Strong’s Greek Dictionary Of The New Testament number 4441.

(3) The following verses (John 14:13-14) are not talking about our needs, wants, or desires but rather the “works” spoken of in the preceding verse (John 14:12). That is meeting the needs, wants or desires of others are the works. We go to God our Father for our needs, wants, and desires but go to Jesus for the works of ministry (see Acts 3:1-12 for an example of the use of Jesus’ name in ministry).

This blog series in Word and PowerPoint formats attached:


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Hal Warren

Hal has been teaching the Bible for over three decades. Through an interdenominational ministry dedicated to helping the local church build men for Jesus, Hal trained men, the leaders of men’s ministries, and provided pulpit supply. Before that, he was a Men’s Ministry Leader and an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher of a seventy-five-member class at a denominational megachurch. Presently, Hal desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father, in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Hal and his wife have five adult children, several grandchildren, and with more grandchildren on the way! He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God, that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home. 

Topical Index of Hal's Blogs

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