During one evening the Lord spoke to me and said, “My people do not ask me, they tell me.” I knew what He was referring to because I had recently begun a series of sermons entitled, “The Keys to Answered Prayer.” I had begun detailing the proper way to make a petition to the Lord and highlighted other areas where we often times have a misunderstanding. Prayer is a system that has laws and rules. There are many different types of prayers (faith, agreement, supplication, thanksgiving, intercession, submission, etc. – this list can go on and on.) Each type of prayer has its own laws and rules that governs over it even though it all falls in the category of prayer.
So with the Prayer of Petition, we were examining the rights and wrongs of approaching this type of prayer, when the Lord made this statement to me. And it made me wonder how often we have prayed and addressed God then told Him what we wanted done or how we wanted Him to do it. It wasn’t a request but a statement.
We were examining the following scripture text for our teachings:
John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son 14: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
In addition to the Prayer of Petition, we were looking at the Prayer of Agreement based on the following scripture:
Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
After this statement that the Lord spoke to me, it clicked! We’ve prayed prayers of telling the Lord this is what I want, but not really asking Him. All of these scriptures say to “ask.” In John 16:23, 24 the word “ask” is written 4 times. Even in the Prayer of Agreement where two people will seek the Lord regarding a matter it says to “ask.” But instead, we have prayed and then stood on our prayer that the Lord will do what we prayed. But asking is a question that requires an answer. The Lord must and will respond to the question.
Let’s look at these examples:
“Lord, there is a new job opportunity that I want to take, and so I’m asking you to open this door for me, in Jesus name, Amen.”
This petition is not a question. And this is how many of us approach God. God may or may not do what you tell Him (James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts) but He will always answer you if you ask a question. Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
We aren’t to stand on our prayer; we are to stand on His answer, His response, His word. Our faith is to be put in His word and His response to our petition. Even with the Prayer of Agreement, the law requires a question to be asked and both people should receive an answer to the question; instead of two people agreeing that the Lord is going to do what we want just because we agreed upon it.
So let us begin to ask Him and then finally we can see the Lord do great and mighty things in us, through us and for us.