Do you know how to ask?

Published 6:38 pm Friday, August 14, 2015

August is a month filled with birthdays for us:  Madeline turns seven, Addyson five, and Mallory twelve.  Time mysteriously and rapidly disappears before our very eyes!

As I have watched all our little girls (who are not so little anymore) grow and change, I have also noticed how their wish lists have evolved from the simplest of toys to more advanced things—such as the one thing that always fits and is never too large:  money.

While expressing her hopes for birthday gifts, Madeline shared a rather interesting statement with her mother and Kristie passed it on to me:  “I want a little bit of toys and a lot of money.”  That pretty well covers the entire spectrum!  Papa’s pockets are sometimes closed rather tightly, but those girls sure know how to loosen them up.

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We will soon know if Madeline’s birthday hopes become reality.  We can also use her statement as an example to help remind us how we can call out to God in prayer for the needs of our lives.

For starters, we can see that she was not reluctant to make her wishes known, because she was confident that those who love her are willing to do good things for her.  She has no reason to be fearful as she expresses her desires and she has every reason to rest assured that good things will come her way.  When it comes to asking God to meet the needs of our lives, we can approach Him with absolute confidence.  Hebrews 4:16 offers assurance as we ask God to meet the needs of our lives:  “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”  (New International Version).

Not only was Madeline bold and confident enough to express what she wanted, she was also quite specific—she wants a few toys and a lot of money.  That was simple and to the point.  Perhaps too often we are so vague in our prayers that we are not really zeroing in on anything in particular.  We should pray with specificity.  That requires some thought and some effort, but it also enables us to focus on what our real needs are as we ask God to intervene in our circumstances.  Although God knows all about us, even our needs before we ask anything of Him, He still wants us to ask Him for the needs that we have.  The more specific we are as we pray, the better able we are to recognize answers when they come and give God thanks for what He does. Madeline did not make her wishes to strangers on the street, but she made them to those who know her, love her, and are willing and able to do something about it.  When we pray in faith as children of God, we must trust in Him, our ultimate source and supplier.  God is able to do all things and He delights to do good things for His children.  Matthew 7:11 reminds us that “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”

There is far more that could be said about prayer than can be included here, but we can rest assured that God delights for His children to call out to Him in all circumstances.  Do you know how to ask Him for the needs of your life?  Ask Him boldly, specifically, and with confidence.