Football player praying

Yes, I ask God for things. This morning I asked God for something specific. It’s something big, at least in my eyes. I’m sure in God’s eyes it’s not a big thing at all.

Have you asked God for something specific? Are you still waiting for an answer? Have you wondered whether it’s really OK to ask God for things?

Just a couple weeks ago my husband Al and I were watching our two older grandchildren for the evening. Andrew is seven, and he was excited about the movie Frozen he had seen, as well as about his upcoming birthday. He wanted the video, and was not ashamed to ask, “Can you get that video for me when I turn eight?”

If you’re a parent (or grandparent!) you know how much you love giving gifts large and small to your children. If one of them is in trouble, or hurting, you want them to come to you for help. You would be embarrassed and upset if they felt they couldn’t ask you.

But if the only time your children spoke to you is to ask for something, you would also be upset. (Sadly, sometimes that does happen.) You want other things for your children also. You want them to grow up, to be grateful, to become strong, and in the process you want more from your relationship with them than only giving them gifts.

God calls Himself our Father. And the Bible affirms that He loves to give us good gifts! (Matt. 7:11) Can you imagine how hurt He must be when we shrink back from asking Him for the things we need, and even want? He loves to be the One we come to when we are in trouble or in need.

But just like with you and your children, He wants to be more than that too. You love to give gifts to your children because of your relationship with them. The gifts aren’t the main point, but you treasure your ability to give them gifts. And so does God.

Take an inventory of your prayers. Along with praise, complaining, and quietness, do you boldly include asking for what you need, and even desire?

Here are some things to unashamedly ask God for:

  1. Wisdom. This is one of those things God specifically said to ask Him for. (James 1:5) And in this complicated and messed up world, how we need this gift!
  2. Necessary material things. God already knows you need things such as food, shelter, clothes, and more. (Matt 6:8) He is honored when you ask Him for things instead of worrying about them.
  3. Strength. We all regularly face things that are too big for us, things beyond our personal ability to face or deal with. God has the answer. Sometimes He Himself BECOMES the Answer. (Psalm 29:11)
  4. Escape from temptation. God knows you are vulnerable, and that this world offers much to tempt you. He wants to bring you through those vulnerable places victoriously. (1 Cor 10:13)
  5. The Holy Spirit. God has a purpose for you to fulfill here in this world, and the Holy Spirit is available to help you fulfill that purpose. God is eager to give Him to you! (Luke 11:13)
  6. Forgiveness. Something else we all need a full dose of regularly. And God has offered it in abundance, just for the asking. (1 John 1:9)
  7. Good things for others. Part of the way God blesses people is through the prayers of others. Both you and they receive good things when you pray for them. (Job 42:10)
  8. Health and healing. God is the Great Physician. Sickness and death are real in this troubled world, but God does bring healing. It’s right to ask Him for it. (Luke 4:18)
  9. Jesus’ return. This world is messed up enough that I think many of us agree that its end will be the only ultimate solution. Jesus promised to return! (Rev. 22:20)
  10. What your heart desires. The things you strongly desire may well be a clue to what God wants for you, and also what He may want you to do. Don’t shy away from asking Him! (Psalm 37:4)

There are many other things you can ask God for also. God loves to give good things to His children. And that includes you. He wants you to come boldly into His presence, and ask.

Remember, He knows more than you. And just like a parent with a child, there are times we don’t understand everything He does.

But He still wants you to ask!

And yes, Andrew will get his Frozen video for his birthday. (Just don’t tell him yet. It’s a surprise!)

Your turn: What are you asking God for? Are there things you want or need that you have been reluctant to ask Him for? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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