What are you asking God for?
Associate minister Greg Ball writes about the most important thing we can ask God for… and perhaps the one thing we forget to pray most often.
Prayer is a wonderful gift from God. It’s the opportunity for us to speak directly to him about anything and everything, at any time and in any place.
The day-to-day struggles of family life, dealing with health issues, the pain of broken relationships, caring for sick relatives, the demands of work, the pressure of studying for exams, performing in a music or dance recital, competing on the sporting field, buying property, entering relationships, getting married, looking after children and grandchildren, managing finances. Interaction with global issues like climate change, abortion, freedom of religion and caring for refugees…
Whatever is going on in our life, physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually, big or small, God encourages us to bring it to him in prayer: do not be anxious about anything, says the Apostle Paul, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
One of the most famous prayer requests throughout history was that of King Solomon. The Lord had appeared to Solomon one night in a dream and told Solomon to ask him for whatever he wanted. Solomon responded by asking God to grant him a discerning heart to govern [the people of Israel] and to distinguish between right and wrong. (1 Kings 3:9)
God blessed Solomon with far more than what he asked for. Not only did the Lord give Solomon wisdom and discernment for administering justice, he also gave Solomon incredible wealth and honour throughout his life. But along with answered prayer and many blessings came the call to walk in obedience with God. For Solomon, who had more wealth than any of us could ever imagine, honour among the nations that our modern-day leaders can only dream about, and such wisdom that the greatest judges and magistrates of our modern-day legal systems can only aspire to… for Solomon, who was blessed with all these wonderful attributes from God, walking in obedience with God proved to be his greatest challenge.
How often do you ask God to help you walk in obedience with him? Jesus, when petitioning his Father in the garden of Gethsemane to take the cup of wrath away from him, says, ‘Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ (Matthew 26:39) For Jesus, humble obedience to his Father’s will was the most important thing he could do with his life. The prayer that Jesus prayed reflected the depth of his love for his Father in heaven.
What are you asking God for? God encourages us to bring everything to him in prayer. So let us not forget, in all the things that we ask of God in our life, to ask God for a heart like the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. A heart that seeks to serve our heavenly Father in love and obedience.