I was having a dream the other morning just before I woke up. I don’t recall most of it now. The part I do remember happened right before I woke up. I was sitting at a table talking with someone I had worked with years ago. Someone else, and I’m not sure I knew who it was, needed a lawyer. Then suddenly one was sitting there. Just as I was waking up the lawyer was saying I can help you with whatever you need…but you have to ask.
Wow. How true that is of our relationship with the Lord also. How many times do we have a problem (OK, maybe not you maybe just me) and instead of running right to the throne where we can find the grace we need to help in time of need, we go elsewhere. We call our friends or family to get their opinion, or their help, or we go to Google to see what it suggests we should do in our situation or with our symptoms.
I believe that dream was really a reminder from the Lord. He knows that sometimes we can just stew around in our problems, wringing our hands and trying to figure out what to do on our own. Or maybe we do what we think in our own minds we should do, and that doesn’t always work out so well. I was talking with a friend about that same thing the other day. She said she thinks it’s our natural bent. We think we have the tools we need, so of course we can fix the problem on our own! Except sometimes we find that we can’t. We can’t always see the whole picture of what’s needed.
Sometimes we don’t ask the Lord for His opinion or His help right away because we just don’t think of it. Other times perhaps we think, its such a small thing, I don’t want to bother the Lord with it. After all, He’s busy with much more important things. Other times we may think to ourselves well, the Lord knows I need/want that. So I don’t have to ask Him, He already knows.
But the thing is, the Bible TELLS us to ask. In multiple scriptures and multiple places. Jesus did it all the time. It’s also called prayer. We find God’s people praying all through the Bible. In good times and bad, in times of plenty and in times of need.
In my version of the Bible it gives Matthew 7:7-11 like this: “You must regularly ask and it will be given to you, you must continually seek and you will find, you must knock habitually and it will be opened to you: for everyone who asks takes, and the one who seeks finds, and it will be opened for the one who knocks. Or what man is there of you, who when his son will ask for bread, will give him a stone? Or then will ask for a fish will give over to him a snake? Therefore if you, being evil yourselves, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your Father, the One in the Heavens, will give good things to those who ask Him.”
So we can see how important it is to ask and seek. It shouldn’t just be an every now and again thing. Or we have John 16:24: “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” The Lord loves to do things for us and to give us what we need but our part is we need to ask. Also, when we pray based on the promises in God’s Word it activates the angels to go to work.
When we do ask it’s important to remember to ask in faith. James 1:6: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” The Lord loves to see our faith in Him. After all what loving father wouldn’t want his children to believe him when he says he will do something? Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
This gift of asking that the Lord has given us, that we call prayer, is by no means a gift we are meant to use just for ourselves. No, the Lord calls us to pray for others. Yes, we are to pray for our selves, our families, our friends and loved ones, our neighbors, our churches and all those in our circle of influence. But we are told to pray for more than that.
We are also called to pray for all men and those in authority. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
” We are to pray for our enemies Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”.
We can pray for the sick, James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” We are also called to pray for our nations. 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
The Lord wants us to come to Him with even the smallest details of our lives. He cares about our lives. But He doesn’t want us to pray just small prayers. He wants us to pray big, bold prayers. God is a big God, He is by no means limited by our sometimes small thoughts. Ephesians 3: 20-21 says “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
If He can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or think then shouldn’t we think bigger? Ask bigger? There’s a whole lot of people and situations out there that need our bold prayers. We never know when we will be called on to pray. Sometimes situations pop up in an instant. We should be ready to pray at all times.
One synonym for lawyer is advocate. When we are praying for someone we are their advocate before the Lord. Pleading their case. Interceding. And following the advice of the lawyer in my dream. Opening our mouth and just asking!
And let’s not forget to make sure God gets all the glory for our answered prayers!