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James 4:3 cautions us not to ask amiss. This implies that it is possible to ask amiss. Asking amiss simply means “praying out of God.” This happens when one refuses to pray as God would expect His children to pray. God’s will for His children are beautiful. His thoughts towards His own are good. It is His will to do that which you ask as a child of God. But, when you pray out of Him, you pray amiss. You’re missing the mark.
Matthew 7:9-11 shows how much God is ready to give good things to them that ask Him. There always is a readiness on God’s part to bless you. But you have to know how to ask.
When you ask:
1. Ask thoughtfully
It is important that a believer knows what He asks. God will not grant His children a harmful outcome if they make ignorant requests. He does expect us to be knowledgeable (in scriptures) and be thoughtful in the petitions we bring before Him. In Mark chapter 10, we see how two of Jesus’ disciple asked amiss.
Mark 10 (NIV)
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,
40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
Be thoughtful in your petitions, He will surely attend to you.
2. Ask properly:
God expects us to ask properly. An infant’s way of expressing needs is to cry or fret, and parents learn to interprete the method of communication so as to take care of the child. Imagine a grown up child applying the same method, that’s bizzare. Isn’t it? God expects us to grow up and ask properly. When you ask, ask in the name of Jesus alone.
John 14 (NIV)
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
Also, be sure that you are asking according to God’s will. This requires that you know (acknowledge) that God knows what is best for you and to put your desires in line with His perfect will.
1 John 5 (NIV)
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
Ask in harmony with God and see Him respond promptly. John 15:7.
3. Ask honestly:
Be honest and sincere in your requests. Do not forget that God knows about what you are asking from Him – He is all knowing. Be straightforward and do not complain. Prayers and stories are two different things.
Do not pray with wrong motives. These are deal breakers. God will respond to an honest prayer, not to a dishonest one. Do not pray for the death of your enemy. The real enemy is the devil. The one that you think is your enemy is just a vessel or agent that the devil is using against you (that’s if he or she is truly against you). And who tells you that you are not an enemy to someone else, who might also pray for your death in his closet. Dear friends, Jesus’ command is simple, love your enemies and pray for them. Your love and prayers is what would change them to be your friend. When the purpose of your prayer is evil, you are praying amiss.
Matthew 5 (NIV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
4. Ask boldly:
The Lord expects us to approach Him cheerfully. He doesn’t want us to be reluctant or doubtful in making requests known to Him. Come boldly, He says. Hebrews 4:16. We are assured of a positive response if we do.
5. Ask expectantly:
God answers prayers. If we ask well (as opposed to asking amiss), God will answer. When you pray, put your confidence in God who cannot fail. Do not just pray into the air, expect an answer from Him who is able to do all things. Believe and receive.
22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
6. Ask unselfishly:
When you pray unselfishly, out of hearts that are motivated by love for God and God’s kingdom, and for humans, God will answer. Your prayers should not be motivated by selfishness.
In conclusion, strive to ask in accordance with God’s word. Trust in Him and see Him granting your requests. Remain blessed.
We hope this blessed you. Please, share with friends and family. Visit this blog next week for another episode on this blog. Thanks and God bless you.