“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7: 7-8)
From the start, it looked like it was going to be just another Sunday morning service. Even the sermon text was quite familiar. But the preacher introduced the message by instructing members of the congregation to turn to someone sitting beside them and ask for anything. A few were reluctant to ask because they thought it would be impossible to get anything. But for those who asked, the results were quite amazing. They got everything from money to cars – things they had always desired but which they never asked for.
The question that remains on most of their minds till this day is “what if they did not ask that morning”
Ask! That is the divine mandate. It does not matter what you desire or from whom you desire it, just ask. You can ask for anything and everything you need. The spiritual principle for receiving is asking. To receive, you must ask!
Now, what does it really mean to ask? It means:
– To make a request to inquire or seek information
– To make a demand
Jameson, Fausset and Brown said regarding the same scripture: “We ask for what we wish, seek for what we miss and knock for that from which we feel shut out. Answering to this threefold representation is the triple assurance to our success in any endeavour.” The apostle James said, “…you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss” (James 4:2-3).
For some, asking can be as easy as it sounds, but for others, it can be a very difficult task. A number of people often long, desire, crave and suffer, yet they usually do not ask until they are at the end of the road. Even then, they do not get what they ask for because they do not have the necessary skills for asking. To make asking easier you must:
- Have a genuine need. The first thing about asking is that it must be borne out of a genuine need. Many ask with no resolve to follow it through because they have other options. This often shows that what they are asking for was not really a need in the first place.
- Be precise. There is no point asking until you are certain of what you want to ask for. Avoid unnecessary winding when asking. There are many opportunities in life when you can come right out and state your opinions and preferences, asking specifically for what you want. Sometimes, directness is the best course of action.
- Be polite. No one appreciates a rude seeker. Avoid demanding your own way all the time, and do not go into a whining fit to get what you want.
- Ask at the appropriate time. You have to determine which opportunities are appropriate and which are not. It pays to ask at the right time. It is not the wisest move to march into the boss’s office and ask for a raise right after he has complained about your performance. You are likely to get a ‘no’ for an answer. You must therefore develop a clear sense of timing.
We find all these ingredients in the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman in the seventh chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark. The one from whom she needed a favour was no other than the Lord Jesus Christ. She had every reason to shy away from asking. What with the busy schedule of the master and the horde of people around the Lord who could ridicule her if her request was not granted? That was beside the fact that she had no locus standi to ask. Remember she was not a Jew, and that automatically disqualified her from relating to any Jew, much less asking a favour. But she braced it all and asked. Her request was seemingly turned down, but she was not discouraged. She persisted! Ultimately she got what she wanted,
You will discover from this story that the Syro-Phoenician woman:
• Had a genuine need for which she desires immediate attention. Her daughter was terribly sick!
- Met Jesus Christ in an atmosphere they could both talk about her problem.
- Made her request with precision and got what she asked for through persistence.
- Was very polite in her asking and was not offended by Jesus’ initial reluctance to grant her request.
Finally, some do not receive when they ask because “… you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” James 4:3. Don’t ask if all you want to do is show off a new status or ‘have what it takes’ to be accepted by a group. These are all wrong motives.
Now, what do you need? A promotion? Healing? Some information? A spouse? A special birthday gift? It may even be as simple as the key to the restroom. By all means, learn to ask, and ask with confidence. Whether or not your request is granted, you will feel better simply because you asked.
Of all the reasons people adduce for not asking, timidity is most prominent. But the Bible declares in 2 Timothy 1:7, ”For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” To come out boldly and powerfully, you need Jesus who Himself said, “… for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
With Jesus dwelling in you, timidity is banished forever. Ask with God’s kind of faith to receive your unlimited blessings.
God will never withhold any good thing from me. All His blessings are mine for the asking. He surrounds me with favour as I ask from those He has committed my blessings to. I never ask amiss because the Holy Spirit guides me in all my asking. The flow of His blessings to me is limitless because I receive every time I ask. In Jesus’ name. Amen.