Prayer is implied in the Church of Jesus Christ.
When you pray, asking is a big part of the prayer. Prayer is relating to God, conversing with God, and yes, asking of God.
As desperation for an answer increases we may cry out to God.
Sometimes it can be difficult to discern an answer from God. For instance, we are told to pray for our leaders. How do we truly know if God has answered? What are the signs, if any at all? We pray for alleviation of poverty and yet, how do we know if God is answering?
The truth is, many Christians miss the transition from praying to acting. In other words, they miss the transition from asking for a solution, to acting to see the solution come to pass. A very simple illustration is this: I can open a door for you, but only you can walk through that door. If you stand still and refuse to move, you will never enter. I truly believe that God answers some prayers with openings and we miss them because we don't stop crying out long enough to test for an answer. You see, there are doors that God will open that no one can shut (Rev 3:8) but are we moving, walking through the door that God opened. God parts the Red Sea and then people walk.
I love what Bill Johnson, Lead Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, says of this: "Prayer is the place where we receive boldness and power to go into enemy territory and take the spoil." Given this quote, our prayers can take on a whole different dimension than usual. Instead of saying, "God, do something..." we can pray, "God, give me (power, assistance, help, boldness, gifts, courage) so I can do something mighty for Your Kingdom!" Now THAT'S a completely different way of praying.
That kind of praying speaks of your willingness, not just your request. That kind of praying seeks for yourself to be engaged in the answer, not just asking God to answer for you while you wait in the shadows.
When it comes to your prayer life, how much of it is filled with willingness? What would happen in your life with God if you began to pray more and more in this fashion? Consider the requests on your 'prayer list' right now. How many of them can you add you willingness to? How many of them can you bring before God and add your own living sacrifice to be part of the solution?
That kind of prayer will be answered in one way or another because God wants willing servants. You don't even need to be qualified, because your willingness is the only qualification God needs. The equipping for the job is on God. He will give you everything you need to take the spoils of the battle from the enemy. When that happens, your faith is built-up as well. You simply can't go wrong praying this way. Don't miss God's answers by asking without acting.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.