A thought that has been going through my mind lately is “yet ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2). Why is it that we do not ask God for the things that we desire? Why do we self-censor our prayers?
Jesus makes an extravagant promise about prayer. After the Last Supper, Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer. He tells them, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).
Later while they were walking to Gethsemane, Jesus tells them, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. . . .. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:5-7). Our fruit bearing will express itself in answered prayer: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16).
As Jesus comes to the end of his final teaching with His disciples, he drives home his point. “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. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23-24).
Six different times Jesus says, “Ask and I will give it to you. All of Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the Gospels can be summarized with one word: Ask.
Are you asking? If not, why not? Jesus says to ask, and He will give, that is an extravagant promise about prayer. So ask!