I recently attended a conference that brought light to my prayer life and who I was showing authority to. The theme was based on Romans 12:12 Be Constant in Prayer. There was so many great take-aways but one struck me in particular. It was about one of people’s forgotten prayers. Let me redirect you for one moment then we will visit this again.
Let me ask you a question. How techie is your family? Do you have all those fancy gadgets in your home that you can talk to and give it all the different commands? The gadget we have in our home is Alexa. She helps us with different tasks around the house when we tell her to. “Hey, Alexa, play my song list.” “Hey, Alexa, tell me the weather.” “Hey, Alexa, add Avocados to my shopping list.” This list could continue.
I remember when both of my children were toddlers and learning to speak and “requesting” things that they needed. Instead of “asking” they would say “More milk.” Ok it’s wonderful that they had the ability to vocalize their needs but I knew I had to teach them some manners. When the demand came, I would respond back with “Are you telling me, or are you asking me?” Then I would model for them how to ask. “Mommy, can you pour me some milk please?” It took time but they got it soon.
So, when we are speaking to God, our Father, are we demanding Him like we do Alexa or our youngsters or are we asking? Don’t we owe to Him more honor and respect? Now, there are times when I’m in dire need and the only thing I can mutter at the time is “God I need You!”. This is certainly a cry out for help and by golly if that’s all that you can get out at the time, then just say it! But, after leaving this conference I know that my prayer life needs a facelift.
We are taught how to pray and what to “ask” for through out scripture. There are dozens of prayers in Psalms. I was reminded of these questions by Rev. Christopher K. Paavola.
- Questions for guidance- But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” Genesis 15:8
- Questions for understanding-The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. Genesis 25:22
- Questions for doubting God- to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Matthew 11:5
- Questions for lament and giving voice to agony speaking about God’s behavior- Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Psalm 44:23
- Questions for confession- “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.“It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’
- Questions for praise- Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. Psalm 89:8
- Questions for requests- 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! Matthew 7:11
Rev. Paavola said, “The ask is yours, the answer is His.” We are recognizing His authority.
So are you asking God or are you telling Him? Who is in authority of your life?