Pastoral Perspectives

Ask God

Whenever we need something, as a child coming to the father, we have the courage to come to our own father and ask of him for those things we need. We will not beat around the bush but ask specifically what we need. We have the confidence that our father will give them to us. Our father is also confident that we will ask the right and good things. So, we come to our own father courageously and confidently.

How about our Father in Heaven? Do we have such courage and confidence in coming to our Father in Heaven and ask of Him for those things we need? Do you know the principles of prayer? What has the Word of God shown us and taught us about this? In the Word of God (i.e. the Bible, the Scripture), we are encouraged to come to God anytime and anywhere and ask of Him. We need to remember that our God is a prayer-hearing God and a prayer-answering God. There are a lot of lessons to learn about “Ask God”. Let me share a couple of Bible verses with us today!

In John 16:23-24, we are instructed to ask in Jesus’ Name, that is, ask in the power and authority of the Name of Jesus. We come to our Father in Heaven through the precious Name of His beloved Son Jesus. I have included these verses as follows:

In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24 ESV)

“Ask in Jesus’ Name” is one of the principles of prayer. The assurance and the confidence are found in these Bible verses. Whatever you ask of the Father in Jesus’ Name, He will give it to you. Your joy will be full once you have received what you ask for. The more you know the Lord Jesus, the more you know what to ask of Him. You know what pleases Him and what does not please Him.

Another principle of prayer is: “Ask in the Will of God”. In 1 John 5:14-15, we are instructed to ask in the Will of God, that is, ask according to the plans and purposes of God; ask with the desire to please and glory God. Allow the Spirit of God to lead and direct you to ask in the Will of God. I have included these verses as follows:

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15 ESV)

Our confidence in God comes with the realisation that He hears us when we ask anything according to His Will. We would not want to ask anything outside His plans and purposes. For example, we ask God that our hearts be softened so that we may respond in obedience to Him. When our hearts are softened, we are more ready to receive what God has instructed us to do and be His obedient children. To know the Will of God, we need to know the Word of God. To know the Word of God, we need to spend Time Alone With God (T. A. W. G.) consistently and constructively. It is good to have regular devotional time with God both in the Word and in prayer.

Still another principle of prayer is: “Ask in faith”. In James 1:5-6, we are instructed to ask in faith. I feel that we should not be shy but be bold in approaching God. Let us approach Him courageously and confidently for He hears us and answers us. Our God is a faithful, good and holy God. Ask God in faith and do not doubt it. Have faith in God! Place your trust in God, in His promises and in His powerful Word. Do you feel inadequate in many areas in your life and ministry? Come to God and ask Him to give His wisdom to you. I have included these verses as follows:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6 ESV)

Still another principle of prayer is: “Ask correctly”. How and why do we ask God? To gratify our sinful desires or to glory God? Do we have God’s Kingdom’s purpose in mind? Let us ask correctly. Let us also ask concisely and conscientiously. I have included these verses as follows:

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:2-3 ESV)

When we ask wrongly, that is, ask to meet our selfish plans and purposes, we will not receive. When you know God more, you would know what and how to ask of Him. For example, we ask God to give us understanding whenever we read His Word. God will give it to us. When we ask God to provide us with someone to journey with us in our faith in Christ, He will provide such a person for us.

God knows our needs even before we ask Him. Let us count on Him to give us what we really need. When we lack wisdom, as we ask God, He will generously give us His wisdom. God is faithful, true and just. He knows when and how to give us. Let us ask in Jesus’ Name, in the Will of God, in faith and ask correctly. Let us be courageous and confident to approach God and ask. Amen.

Preacher George Ang

January 29, 2023