But beyond this, Jesus also shares with us another important element of prayer—it is so that he can provide for us. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7) Not that we will move to a health and wealth gospel, but it is right there in black and white and in plain English—God wants us to have what we wish and what we need. Now, will he always give us what we want? Absolutely not. But he will give us more than what most ask for. What I have found is that most people don’t “ask” as Jesus commanded. They live meek and mildly and don’t think they are deserving of what God truly wants to give them.

What might be some of the things that the Father might want to give us? How about:

  • A restored life for a friend who has had a string of broken life-situations in their lives.
  • Our material needs where we are not always living paycheck to paycheck and can actually have enough money to get the things we need, and some of the things we want.
  • A thriving and intimate marriage that lasts beyond fifty decades.
  • An inviting home where many enter its doors and find safety, joy and rest.
  • Children who follow God in their own lives and have a future.
  • The end of a temptation which has followed us for years.
  • A long-lasting friendship in which we can be ourselves and share our joys and secrets.
  • Even something as non-consequential as when you are looking for a parking spot in a busy downtown.

Let me light-heartedly explain that last one. Ever since I met Julie, I’ve always done something which she has always thought was weird, but at the same time, she has been amazed by. What is it?  I sometimes pray for parking spots. Some may find it disrespectful or flippant with my prayer life, but in almost every case, God answers my prayers evoking his words of “asking.” Just a month ago we were in Washington D.C. and had to park downtown. Looking out at the streets, there was no way we were going to find a spot. It was a Saturday. It was 1pm and the busiest time of the day. And it was in the heart of where everything was. True to form, after looking for a spot for fifteen minutes, I simply asked, Lord, I need a parking spot. I kid you not, thirty seconds later as we neared our destination, right across the street from the National Gallery of Art sitting there was one open spot. It is true, God wishes to invade every aspect of our lives—even when it requires the need for having a spot to park your car in a crowded downtown!

At the end of day, God wants us to ask. As Robert Hamil wrote “God is not a power or principle or law, but he is a living, creating, communicating person—a mind who thinks, a heart who feels, a will who acts, whose best name is Father.” No different than me as a father to my sons, I want to give them good things and this is how the Father relates to me. As another example of this from our family, I have another good illustration.  When it comes to our two sons, they each have unique, but different personalities. As a case in point, one of my sons is always asking for stuff from me. Hey dad, will you buy _______________ for me? Hey dad, can we go to the library? Hey dad, want to watch a movie with me? Even when I am not in the mood to watch a movie, I usually consent and do what he asks. On the other hand, my other son rarely asks anything of me—he is very unselfish, almost to a fault. Even though I love both of my son’s equally and dearly, my son who is always asking me for things, probably over the long run “gets” more from me than my other son, simply because he asks for more. Now granted, my other son is not left without any clothes on his back or doesn’t get anything at all, but if he were to ask more from me, I would treat him no different than his brother. If it was good and appropriate, I would in most cases give him what he asks for.

If I apply this same concept to my life, this is how it works with our Father as well. Jesus made his teaching very clear, Those who ask, get. As Matt Redman wrote in one of his worship songs, “Nothing is too much to ask now that I have said I am yours.” So God asks you at this moment, What do you want from me? And don’t make it just one thing. Ask away and see what he does and what he gives. As the great missionary Hudson Taylor penned:

The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see mighty works of Divine power and grace wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge, ‘Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

In: Friend to Jesus
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