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I'm a wife, a mom, a singer/songwriter, an author, a public speaker, an abolitionist, an encourager & freedom coach, a seminary student, a worship leader, a lover of life and joy, and most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Freedom Friday: You Have Not Because You Ask Not

Have you noticed any patterns in your life lately?

Themes concerning which God is dealing with you?

I'm in the midst of reading 2 Kings in the Bible and starting on the New Testament, beginning with the gospel of Matthew. The topics of prayer and petition has been coming up quite a bit, especially as I read the Sermon on the Mount.

Last night, I was listening to a podcast, and the speaker reminded me of this verse in James 4:2 (KJV):

"You have not because you ask not."

It brought to mind something that happened recently.

In January, our church sang "Came to my rescue." How I love that song (I prefer this simple version to the one generally heard). I downloaded it to my phone, as I was about to embark on a road trip.

I passionately sang as I drove down the highway, "I called, You answered, and You came to my rescue..." As I sang, God gently spoke to my heart.

"But you don't always."

"Wait, what?" I replied.

"You don't always." He gently said.

"What do you mean?" I again replied.

"You don't call. There are times when I would have rescued you, even recently, when I would have reached out to save you, but you didn't call."

That just broke my heart. Especially as a parent.

A year ago, I wrote a post called "Eeyore Complex: Pooping on God's Plan". In that post, I wrote the following:
How would I feel if my children went whining around the neighborhood, asking for everyone else to feed them and meet their needs, but they didn't come to me? What if they only came to me as sort of an afterthought? Like I was their 2nd or 3rd choice?
But in this case, I wasn't running to everyone else. In this time of silence, I'm more apt to sit around, wallowing in self-pity and hopelessness, than I am to go to God first.

When God brought this to my attention on that road trip, I cried and asked God to forgive me. I repented of my pity party and acknowledged that I desperately need His help and long for Him to be my rescuer.

"You have not because you ask not."

The Sermon on the Mount teaches us some lessons on prayer.

1. Keep it simple.
The number of words or the complexity of language isn't what convinces God to answer our prayers. Matthew 6 talks about not babbling on like the Pharisees because "your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" It gives us an example of how to pray:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
Sometimes, I just pray, "God, help" or "Holy Spirit, come." God knows your heart and your desires. Keep it simple.

2. Be persistent.
Keeping our prayers simple does not mean we can only ask once. In fact, Jesus implores us to do the opposite:
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." words of Jesus in Mt 7:7-8
I mentioned the persistent widow in this week's Monday Morning Meditation. I also talked about reminding God of His promises, something I'm seeing a lot of in the Old Testament. We can persistently ask God to do what He has said He will do.

3. Keep it real.
We can be honest with God. We can unreservedly share with Him about our fears, our doubts, even our ludicrous dreams. It's often when I open these things up to God that He reveals to me the why and the how.

God is good. He is also mighty. He is able to handle whatever you need to share with Him.
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." words of Jesus in Mt 7:9-11
God really does have a plan for you. You. Good things for you. Ask Him to see it come to fruition in your life. Ask Him for your needs and your desires. And trust Him for the answer, even if it's no.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV1984)
Note to readers: I am currently reading the Life Recovery Bible. This Bible's NLT seems to have slight differences there when compared to the NLT at Biblegateway.com.

1 comment:

  1. i just came across your post and was very intrigued because also God has been reminding me about prayer. then when I came to the part on the Lords prayer my intrigue tuned to despair and I say this not to be hateful but the verses read May your name be keep holy? May your kingdom come soon? May your will be done? From all that God's word says of who He is there are no mays because HIS name is HOLY, HIS Kingdom will come, and His Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. For HIS is the Kingdom the Glory and the Power forever and ever Amen. Matthew 6; 9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth , as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever Amen. KJV I see at the bottom of Note to readers about slight differences I would have to say there is a big difference especially when it comes to the character of God which if Gods character is change then how can he be God. God can not lose his Holiness or His kingdom or His will as it would apply in LRB. by using the word 'May'implies an expressed possibility example: "that may be true" and an expressing permission Example: "you may use a sling if you wish" Just wanted to point this out because a slight word differences can totally change the meaning of what is being said. Please do not take this as a criticism just pointing out how slight differences can change the whole meaning so one has to be true and the other would have to be a lie. We have so many Bible versions to chose from this can be very confusion I know I've been down that road and I have looked into the matter with much investigation and prayer asking God for truth his truth. I had a choice to make and I know that God has lead me to KJV .because first and for most God say he is a rewarded of those who diligently seek him and what could be more rewarding then the truth. I would encourage you and anyone else that may read this that you Pray asking God to bring you to the truth . There are a lot of versions of the Bible that have slight differences but what translation was written first and when talking about translations I am talking from Hebrew/Greek translated to the English language for it would not be a translation if it is from English to English . My prayer is that you would look into this and may God give you grace in doing so.in the name of Jesus Christ Amen