Prayer is one of the most important features of a Christian’s life. Life cannot progress without it. It is an act to establish a relationship with God. It enables us to understand Him from the Word. As our relationship with Him determines the genuineness in our prayers, the genuineness in our prayers determines their effectiveness. While there include many aspects in prayer, the most fulfilling and an essential aspect is asking the Lord. Asking or petitioning to the Lord is a right availed to us. In it there is promise. It is that when we ask according to His will, He answers us. He truly, genuinely and certainly grants our petition. This is the confidence of a genuine relationship with Him. Asking Him is a testimony to His almightiness. Therefore, He gives. For it is He who said, “Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain – The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man” (Zech. 10:1).
We are told to ask. It should not be neglected. People that neglect asking the Lord are the ones that turn wayward. They make unwise choices, seek unfamiliar ways and often make judgments that bring them harm. When we ask the Lord, we are practicing His command. Jesus told us to ask in order to receive. His words carry an intrinsic meaning. It is to ask in righteousness. When we understand who He is, i.e. that He is holy and righteous, it is only sensible to know that our asking Him must be in accordance with His image. So, asking with selfish motives and with ulterior motives or capriciously is being thoughtless.
It is natural to assume that at the time of spring rain it must rain, just as it is to assume that when we have a need, the Lord should provide. Yet, God wants us to ask Him. It is so that there will not be delay due to Satan hindering us or a sin of ours that causes Him angry. Furthermore, asking Him at an obvious time of need shows that our focus is still on Him. It is depending on His all-powerful nature so that His way is established. In doing so, we again obtain a privilege. When we ask Him to restrain from doing something or delay a matter, He listens. A certain Elijah comes to our mind. Again, there are or will be needs in our life that are met only by petitioning to the Lord. They test our resolve to depend on Him. As we depend on Him, we escape the delay that is able to disappoint and frustrate us. This is a powerful witness to our relationship with Him. Certainly, He provides for our basic needs, but a genuine prayer has preceded it.
Here is the reason to be confident the Lord grants our petitions. “And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38). The inaccessibility to God’s throne has been removed. If He told men to ask Him while the veil was present and He granted their requests, much more then will He grant us our petitions in Christ. It is indeed obnoxious to think of not asking Him. He who does not ask will even lose the things that he obtains by his sheer ability; for he misses the protection that comes from asking God. When our relationship with Him is genuine, we can ask Him whatever comes to our mind. It is His will that those things come to our mind so that He demonstrates His all-powerful nature. In fact, those things are of His thoughts. Therefore, at times when there is a need, it is He who has caused it (or, allowed it) so that we ask and receive. When it is time for the spring rain, it is He who delays it so that we are mindful He is the One in control of all things. It is He who closes the womb and then opens it upon petitioning. He hides a matter and waits on us to ask to reveal it. By just asking we can know the Lord God more than any man can teach us.
Jesus said, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). There are many doors or opportunities available to us in this world. On the surface they may all look promising. But among them lies the door that is Jesus. If we choose Him, we are not only saved forever, but will also find good things in life as and whenever we please. You see, it is the Door that makes all the difference to the way we desire various things. That Door puts us in a place where God aptly directs our every step and guides our minds to suit His nature. So, even if we are to wait, we only wait to reach a distant pasture while passing through another. Notice that Jesus’ statement is a conditional promise. Unless we choose to continually depend on Him, the promise remains aloof to us.
There is evidence that God can grant our petitions. The Spirit in Paul says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). By going through the pages of the Bible we can concur with the Spirit. Plus, if we ourselves have experienced them in life, we are all the surer of His ability.
Nothing is impossible for God. If there is any impossibility, it could be in your resolve for a genuine relationship with Him. Still, He can change that by your total dependence upon Him. This does include two very important things.
• Renouncing the things that you know are hindering your relationship with Him. They could be anything from your habits, attitudes, the traditions you grew up with to the beliefs that still warrant godly evidence. Paul and his associates genuinely did it and found the pasture that satisfied them and glorified God. He said, “But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God (2 Cor. 4:2).
• Tell Him that you commit yourself to Him with the objective to be godly. Then, do the following. “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). Stay away from matters that lack substance. Soon you will find ways and time to discipline yourselves for the commitment you made with God.
There is no better pasture than one that is of God. And there is no better way for it than asking Him. Then, this blessing will be yours for eternity – “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen” (Rom. 15:33).