You do not have because you do not ask. James 4:2
Last month I wrote about some quiet simple ways to offer encouragement to someone, including simply sitting with them. (click here to read last month’s Bear Witness) This month let’s take sitting there one step further. Even if that person is opposed to you praying out loud with them you can still pray. Paul tells us to ‘pray without ceasing’ (I Thes 5:17). While you are sitting there, unsure what to say, speak to God. Focus on Him and ask for quidance in what to say, what to do.
While prayer can be general, “God lead me, give the words this person needs to hear”, we should also be specific in our prayers. This was brought out to me during a recent Bible Study. While I was praying silently I was listening to another woman speak. She was telling about a battle she is facing and she made the comment “God knows what I need.” I was reminded of a passage in Matthew 20 (click here to read the passage). The blind men cried out for mercy. Jesus asked them specifically, “what do you want me to do for you?”. He knew what they wanted but Christ wanted them to verbalized exactly what they desired. Sometimes I wonder if I make my prayers so vague that I am missing out on the blessing God has for me because I do not ask. Matthew 6:8 tells me” the Father knows what you want before you ask” but note the last word is “ask”!! You must ask. Follow this up with James 4:2 “you do not have because you do not ask”. It is when we ask that we finally give up our own desires and seek God’s desire.
How do you pray? Are you asking for God to take a look, see what you might need and hand it over? Or are you seeking God to help you specifically, to “fill you with joy” and to give you peace as you seek His will?