Jesus said, “Ask…seek…knock…Though you are evil you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Mt 7:7-11). “I will do whatever you ask in my name…You may ask me for anything in my name [what is in agreement with His will, the furtherance of His Kingdom and will result in His glory], and I will do it” (Jn 14:13,14, 15:16). So while this may appear Jesus is obligated to give us whatever we ask, He is not a vending machine that will automatically give us what we desire. If we are asking for things that we don’t need or that are contrary to the character or will of Christ, then we cannot expect to receive those things (Jas 4:3).Thus, we should have a clear understanding of His character and purposes. This includes “Asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col 1:9). “If any of you lacks wisdom, ask God who gives generously…but you must believe and not doubt” (Jas 1:5,6).
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6). “He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine …” (Eph 3:20).
Ask and receive that your joy may be full – John 16:24
plans (Lk 18:1-8; 2 Cor 12:7-9). Asking from God in prayer indicates our human lack, yet humble dependency and faith in His ability and resources – “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (Jas 4:2). Faith is expecting to receive what we ask for (1 Jn 5:14,15). When we receive the answer, thank Him for it. ‘Praying through’ is when the person praying has a witness of the Spirit within, confident the desired answer is on the way, and can stop asking and (in faith) thank Him for the answer that will soon become a reality.
In everyday life, we should not ask for assistance from others when we can do it ourselves or when it is our responsibility. In our inter-personal relationships with others, ask questions to gain clarity on areas of uncertainty.
In our interaction with both God and others, thanks should genuinely be expressed for the assistance and help we have received, for we certainly can't make it successfully through life on our own.
See also: answers, expectation, faith, God’s will, prayer, thankfulness/thanksgiving.