If God came to you right now and said, “Ask for anything and I’ll give it you,” what would you ask for? A new car? Money? A new body? Patience? Charisma? The salvation of a lost child? Enough courage to get through this day? (Nothing wrong with that, by the way.)
In Christ, we’ve been invited to lay our requests before God, and we should. The Lord desires that we come to Him recognizing His authority as our provider and God. His power has no limit and His strength reaches far beyond anything our human imaginations—even if we could stitch them all together, harnessing the whole world’s imaginative power—could ever conjure up.
But I’m just wondering if sometimes our requests are smaller than God would like. Not because we don’t know how to ask for big things (I’m quite good at it.), but because we’re usually preoccupied with the here and now, and we’re not very spiritually minded.
In 2 Chronicles 1:7, God appeared to Solomon and asked him, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you” (NLT). Just name it Solomon, and it’s yours. I’ll be honest, I probably would have asked for enough money to pay off our mortgage and a higher metabolism. (Along with a slice of cheesecake.)
But that’s not what Solomon asked for. First, he asked God to keep the promises made to his father David. Second, he asked for wisdom and knowledge to lead the people well.
Fill Me with Your Wisdom Lord
But can you imagine if Solomon had simply asked God to help him get through the day? Or for help deciding what the servants should make for dinner? Or for a new fleet of chariots, a better golf game, a tummy tuck, a vacation, or children who don’t argue for an entire day?
I’m not saying those things are bad, but compared to what Solomon asked for, those requests seem small. If we had front row seats and that’s how the story developed, you can bet your bottom dollar we’d be screaming: Come on Solomon, you can do better than that! The God of the universe just asked you what you want and you went with better behaved children?
The problem is, I think that’s exactly what we’re guilty of. We have an open invitation to approach our awesome God with boldness, and we show up asking for things that affect today when we could be asking for things that affect eternity.
I’ll give you an example. What if instead of praying, Lord, please help my child have a good day, we prayed, Lord, please enlighten the heart of my child today. Give him a persistent wisdom always rooted in Christ that he may know the greatness of who You are and the glory of being Your child and the immeasurable greatness of Your power. Come what may, fill him with Your spirit, rock his world with Your presence, and grant him a kingdom mindset.
Look out for that kid, right? Here’s another example. Instead of asking God to simply give us a nice time together or bless us with good weather, what if we asked Him to do more than we could ask or imagine, filling us with an unquenchable desire for His glory and the overflowing love of Christ?
When our prayers fixate on the temporal things of life instead of the eternal things of life, we’re seeking far less than God desires for us. Nothing in this world can satisfy us more than God can, and He just loves it when we ask.
Fill Me with Yourself Lord
God is wisdom. God is love. God is righteousness and justice and honor and power. He is the way, the truth, and the life. If there is anything good and lovely in this world it is of God. To be filled with God is to be filled with love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and every right motive there is. To be filled with God is to know contentment. To be filled with God is the greatest gift we will ever receive.
So if we aren’t humbly asking God for more of Him, then honestly, we aren’t asking God for enough. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). To ask for more of God (with right motives of course) is to receive more of God. He loves to give good gifts to His children, and there’s nothing more wonderful than God Himself.
Far be it from us to never ask.
Our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and yet we approach the throne of grace asking for a toothpick instead of the feast. Paul’s heartfelt prayer for the Ephesians implores God for more than just a nice day or a pleasant time together. Paul’s prayer reaches into the hope of eternity, beseeching God to exchange all that they are for all that He is.
For this reason . . . I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might. (Eph. 1:15–19)
Can I get an amen?
Surround Me with Your Kingdom Lord
The bottom line is this: if all we’re asking God for is a more tolerable day, we’re settling. Especially since the very Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us.
Jesus told us how to pray. He said, when you pray, pray like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Friends, that is no small prayer. To invite the kingdom of God is to invite the power of God to unfold on an otherwise average day.
And I don’t know about you, but I need the power of God in my otherwise average days. God is ready and waiting to unleash His marvelous presence upon us. God doesn’t just want to fill us with a bunch of stuff; God wants to fill us with Himself.
My friend, the red carpet stretches before you. The doors to the throne room are wide open and the scepter rests extended. Your audience is the King of kings. The question is, what are you going to ask for?