Ask Away {#HearItUseIt}

I realized Sunday that at some point, I’ve stopped praying for myself.

I’ve been faithful to pray for others. Great need requires dependency on a source greater than self. I ask God for my family and friend’s requests because I know only His mercy and grace will do.

It used to be true in my life too. I saw my need as so great that prayer seemed the only response.  I guess that recently I’ve given up on myself, figuring God sees my life a whole lot more clearly than I do, so why waste the words; save them for requesting God’s movement in other’s lives.

But then Sunday there’s a really convicting sermon. About how prayer, even personal requests are really not at all about you or me. They are about God and His great worth in the midst of our great need. Making requests of God is worship because in the asking we’re acknowledging that the One of whom we ask has the power, will, and potential desire to fulfill the request.

Revelation 5 has a beautiful description of the Great Throne room in heaven. There’s the throne, where God is seated. There is a scroll, containing all God’s plan. There’s the dilemma of who will be worthy to open the scroll. And then there’s the Lamb—Christ Himself—who, while gentle and meek, is also qualified with strength and worth to take the scroll from God’s right hand, the hand of power.

But there’s more. It doesn’t end there.

There’s you and me.When he had taken the scroll, [the creatures and the elders] before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5:8). Incense has a place in the practicing of most religions with the idea that the aroma will waft its way to the worshiped one and find its favor. In worship, incense is the scent of delight.

Our God delights in our prayers. They are acceptable worship to Him.

It’s a basic concept, but the simplicity doesn’t preclude its regular practice. Dusting my house requires no special skill, yet your white glove test will quickly prove that it doesn’t happen frequently.

In this area of prayer, I am in need of practicing what I know. I know that God is big. I know that He is able. I believe, out of His great love for me, He is willing.  And when I really consider how mighty God is and I believe He is revealing Himself to me with love, grace, mercy, truth, and beauty, it becomes impossible not to respond with praise and requests. Yes, requests too. God delights in my asking.

So yesterday, I made a change. I continued to pray for others, but I was intentional about asking God to work in specific things in my life. I suppose I was much like taking a child on errands–non-stop chatter, persistent asking. Just like the energy and excitement you see in a child who is getting to spend some alone time with a daddy.

This season is filled with much asking. Wish lists and Dear Santa letters abound. Let’s not forget to ask of the One who always hears and delights in our trust. Remember that our God is not a jolly old fellow who only visits one day a year, out of sight and sound. Instead, our Father can be found 365 days a year. He always offers us a knee on which to hop. He never limits our request to just one. {Or conditions the request on whether we’ve been naughty or nice. Can I get an ‘Amen’?}

Today, ask away.  You ask of One who is both worthy and able.

This is my first time linking up with Michelle DeRusha’s Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday link up. {I confess} I’ve been a lurker at her site for a while. I encourage you to jump over there and read some of the really neat stories of how the preaching of/listening to God’s Word is making a difference in the way people live Monday thru Saturday. 

8 thoughts on “Ask Away {#HearItUseIt}

    • Amy, So true. I do think there’s a sense of our fear of asking other people for help that bleeds over into our not asking God for help. The difference being that we can possibly hide our need from others, but not from God. Glad you visited. Thank you for your comment.

  1. You know, I had a similar realization not too long ago, too — that I pray a lot for others…but not often for myself. I think you’re right though — God wants it all, our self-less requests for others, but also our pouring of our own hearts to him.

    I’m SO glad you unlurked and joined in the community — I am so grateful to have you sharing this wonderful message!

    • Michelle, I’m so honored for you to drop in here for a read! I’m really excited about participating in the “Hear it Use It” community. It’s been a great source of encouragement already. Thanks for your visit.

  2. your realiztion is like a light bulb moment for me too. Maybe it is a sign of maturity in our faith when we turn our eyes from ourselves to others. But sometimes it can be avoidance or lack of faith too. Love your honesty and so glad you linked up after lurking for awhile!

    • I believe you’re right. I think it might even unintentionally get implied within Christian circles that only the immature make requests for themselves. I know for me, I was taught to pray for other first then self last. Maybe that’s the problem…I never get that far in my prayers! I do agree with you that being intentional with our personal requests will be a faith builder. So glad you stopped by and thank you for your comment.

  3. I’m glad you unlurked at Michelle’s place, too. You know sometimes when I hear the same message repeated several times, close together, I get the sense that God is repeating himself to make sure I heard Him. I’ve been coming across this passage and similar thoughts on it lately. Hmmm….think God is trying to get my attention? Great piece. So nice meeting you.

    • Nancy, I’ve had that happened to me a lot. I do think it’s the Lord’s way of saying “Listen up!” How beautiful for you that your heavenly Father keeps inviting you to come and visit with Him! It’s so nice to meet you too. Thanks for your visit.

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