Several years ago I read a neat book entitled The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul. The entire premise revolves around this little word ask.
They assert, “anything is possible…if you dare to ask!” The book promises “personal happiness. Creative fulfillment. Professional success. Freedom from fear–and a new promise of joy that’s your for the asking.”
The book details the barriers that prevent us asking. Knowing what to ask. Understanding how to ask. And then makes application to your family, work and other relationships. One chapter is entitled, “Ask a Higher Power.”
Our word of the week is ask.
While The Aladdin Factor offers practical advice in our human relationships, the Bible offers even better counsel for asking a Higher Power, who is the one and only Jehovah God. Consider these valuable insights for asking.
(1) God wants us to ask.
Although God knows our needs before we ask (Matt 6:8), he desires that we demonstrate our dependence by asking. In the mountain message Jesus taught, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8)
(2) We ask God through prayer (Matt 21:22).
Prayer is the medium through which we make our requests known to God. Prayer requires an admission of need, an attitude of humility, and a submissive spirit. Jesus asks, “Ask in prayer.”
(3) Asking God is permissible because of our relationship to Jesus. (John 14:13-14; 15:16)
The Bible teaches that all spiritual blessings are in Christ (Eph 1:3. One of the greatest privileges we enjoy is the right to petition God. Because Jesus is our Savior, our Mediator, and our friend, we enjoy access to the Father’s ear. Asking “in Jesus’ name” is not a ritualistic expression, it’s our means of entry into the throne room of God.
(4) Asking God is faith-driven.
We don’t have to ask in fear or doubt. In fact, these attitudes inhibit our prayers and forfeit our expectation of a favorable response. The Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man” unstable in all his ways. (Jas. 1:5-8)
(5) We must ask with the right motive.
Prayer is not a cloak for covetousness. A mask for materialism. Or a shield for selfishness. Our asking must be genuine. Sincere. Honest. Honorable. Unselfish. And spiritually driven. One writer said, “the purpose of prayer is not to get man’s will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth.” The Bible warns, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (Jas. 4:3)
Don’t be afraid to ask God for strength. Help. Healing. Wisdom. Guidance. And forgiveness.
Jesus promised, “Ask and it will be given unto you” (Lk. 11:9)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman