What are you asking for?

Social media "experts" are on the rise and I hear over and over about the power of positive thinking, that you get what you asked for, that the only problem is that you don't ask, to ask and you shall receive and finally, just tell five people and they tell five and they tell five and so on and so on.

But, I have a question (or two). What are you asking for? Is it worthwhile? Is it self-serving? Is it all about you? Is what you want others to pass on really all that important?

Yes, I have prayed to God with my wants. I have prayed with my needs. Every time, God gave me what I needed and plenty of times it was what I wanted too. Why? Long ago, I learned a little saying, "God always answers. Sometimes it is yes, sometimes it is no and sometimes it is maybe later." Knowing that helped reorient my prayers. God works in mysterious ways. We may get to the same desired end but God works through people, places and circumstances our finite minds never would have thought of.

Matthew 7:7 says "Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you." Does that mean ask whatever you will and you will get it? Keep reading.

Matthew 7:14 (just a couple of verses down) says "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Ever tried to get through a skinny gate? You can't possibly be carrying too much baggage with you. I am thinking that means we had better reprioritize our questions.

Matthew isn't endorsing an opened prosperity gospel that says ask for whatever YOU want. Back in Matthew 6:33, we read "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you." Again, think about that skinny gate. Don't assume that what you think you need is what God knows you need. That is the best part about God, He knows all our needs and will take care of them in His time as we live, pray and walk in His will.

For thirteen years, I wanted to go to the annual PCA women's leadership conference. Next week I am finally getting to go. When I first heard about it so many years ago, I was a new mother and new president of women's ministries of our church. I craved the opportunity to fly away to a conference filled with wonderfully rich spiritual women and soak in their wisdom and knowledge. The timing, the age of my children and the money all factored into keeping me home. It just wasn't right then; but now, the presbytery is paying my way (because I asked!) and my children are just old enough that my husband can handle their needs for a couple of days (because I asked — well, maybe told). It took thirteen years but my prayers are being answered and I am so excited to meet godly, inspiring women and praise the Lord together and bring back valuable information for our local churches. God's timing is everything.

I guess I was thinking about all this today after reading several sites about getting everything you want in life. Honestly, I am more concerned with the life after this one – eternal life in heaven with Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit and all the other great believers when we meet again.

If you are unsure what to ask, just check with Matthew again: Matthew 6:9-15 says:

"Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil."

Amen.

Have a great weekend.

Comments

  1. Interesting post. I heard a speaker a few nights ago. He said you alwasy need to pray for someone else before you pray for yourself. He said that by praying for others, you’ll more often get what you want. It’s an interesting perspective.

  2. Hurray! :)

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