In the center of our kitchen table we have our’ daily bread.’ I am not simply spiritualizing our meals here – it is a plastic loaf of bread hollowed out in the top to hold important Bible verses. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:11, the inventor of the daily bread loaf understands and appreciates my sense of humor. (Maybe we should break bread together? Ok, I’ll stop while I’m ahead; it’s the ‘yeast’ I can do 😉).
My wife Valerie will be inspired to pick a verse from the daily bread loaf, and I will join her now and then. On this morning, Valerie took a verse and read hers first, “You may ask for anything in My Name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14) Great verse! Now it’s my turn. I read, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19)
Out of 120 cards with 240 verses (front and back), we chose those two verses? What are the odds? (Mathematicians, help me out here.) What better way to remind us of God’s intentional love through one word:
Let’s be real – it is easier said than done. I have felt so busy in my day that I neglect to pray as I should. It seems easier to worry about what’s in front of me than lifting those burdens up in prayer. When it is time to hit the pillow, I pray out of my exhaustion, speaking lifeless prayers out of duty rather than desire. Yet the Lord reminds Valerie and me, and you as a Christ-follower, to step out of the daily grind and ask.
Asking reveals your desire. I have heard plenty of times, “Why do I need to pray if God knows all my needs?” God does know all your needs, and He wants you to communicate those to Him. It’s the nature of a relationship to talk and listen. The Lord is not a genie to grant wishes nor a dictator that does as He pleases – there’s no relationship there. Instead, God cares for you – from the tiniest of details to the giant of concerns. If it is important to you, ask the Lord, so God will act.
Asking demonstrates that you trust God hears you and that He will answer you. A child will ask her parents a request within the parent’s control, “Can I have a cookie?” Depending on the circumstances, the answer could be yes, or if it is before dinner, the answer would be no. If the child is patient and waits until after dinner, she can have a cookie. Similarly, the Lord will do what is best for you in His timing. Do we know when that timing will be? Typically, no. The most challenging part is wrestling with is the silence after the asking. However, we have a God who is working all things for your good – He is putting the pieces together to make that happen. 1 John 5:14-15 speaks further on this truth, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.” God will answer!
Asking is done in Jesus’ Name. In other words, it is under His authority and His will for you. Jesus mentions in John 14:13 that He wants to do what you ask for to glorify the Father. In the context of the Matthew 18:19 passage, Jesus is present in the midst of dealing with sin in the church. If Christ is with two or three who gather in His name during conflict (Matthew 18:20), how much more when it comes to your needs and wants? Therefore, it is encouraged to ask with others you can trust, who are prayer warriors on your behalf. There’s power in the name of Jesus, and His presence is there when people pray.
With all that said…
I encourage you on this day to ask of the Lord so it will be done. If you got tired or gave up on a specific request, today is a new day to start afresh! The Lord cares for you and wants to hear your heavy burdens and your deepest desires. Don’t be discouraged or disappointed if what you have asked in the past has not come to be – Our Father knows when it will come to pass. Ask and keep asking so the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7).
Therefore, what are you going to ask the Lord today?
Have a blessed week!