Tag Archives: ASK

The A.S.K. Principle

Matthew 7:7-8

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Warning: This post is bound to be a commercial for the book by the same name. Since I wrote that book, I guess it’s all right if I pull a few things from it to write this post. After all, the principle is derived from these very verses.

There are some verses that we have all heard and have all thought we understood them all our lives. These verses are probably on that list. I looked in 25 different translations of the Bible, and they all use the same three verbs – ask, seek, knock. 30 years ago I was studying in Matthew and took notice of the fact that the acronym formed by these three words is ASK. I studied out each word carefully and came up with the original notes of a Bible study I called “The A.S.K. Principle.” Jesus was a master at using as few words as possible to get His pint across, and He always chose His words very carefully. It is no fluke that He chose these three words in this order. Asking is the key to answered prayer. Plain and simple.

Most likely you are saying to yourself “Well Duh.” Everyone knows that! I would say that is true, but does everyone know exactly what it means to ask, seek and knock? Do each of you follow out what scripture says about each one of these words? The essence of answered prayer is found by looking at each of these words carefully and seeing what the scripture reveals. That is what my book does. But I am not going to go through all 200 pages in this post. This will be the Cliff’s Notes version.

The first step is to ask. The word ask in the Greek is actually continue asking. It is not asking once and receiving an answer although this does happen occasionally. I hear way to many preachers preaching that if we have faith, we will only have to ask once and I vehemently disagree. They use scriptures like John 14:14 (If you ask anything in my name I will do it), Matthew 18:19 (If any two agree it shall be done), Mark 11:23 (if you tell this mountain to move and have faith it will be done) and Luke 17:6 (If you have faith like a mustard seed you can move a mountain). Yes, Jesus said all of these things, and He always spoke the truth. Many take this to mean when we ask, God should do it right away.

But Jesus also said If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done (John 15:7). In John 14:14, which we shared in the previous paragraph,. Jesus says we must ask in His name. Asking in His name means according to His word. In John 15:16 Jesus says that when our fruit remains the Father will answer our prayers. James said we often ask to heap things on our own lusts and this causes our prayers not to be answered. John said If we ask anything according to His will it shall be done (1 John 5:14).

The body of scripture needs to be taken together if we want to see our asking be more effective. Will God instantly bless prayer? Of course He will, if it is His will to do so. We often get to the point that we think God should fit into our timetable and do what we want. It does not work that way. He is in control, and He can do anything He wants. We can come to Him with our request and He will decide which ones to answer now and which ones to answer later. He will decide exactly how He will answer and it may not be what we expect. No matter what, we should honor Him and glorify His name.

Seeking is next. Once again, we do not seek once but continually. There are many ways we can seek the Lord. It is a necessary step to bring about answered prayer. We seek God by searching through His word. Many times the answer to our prayer is in His word already. If we are not familiar with scripture, we will not know that our answer has already been given. Seeking can also be done when we are praying or praising. Both of these are crying out to God and looking for His mercy and grace. We can seek God through meditation. This type of meditation is not thinking about His word or some song. It is just putting Him in His rightful place in our lives and trying to find His presence within us.

There are many verses that tells us to seek the Lord. They all say He shall be found if we seek Him. Do you find that true? When you take time to seek Him, is He always right there with you? The key to finding God when you are seeking Him is humility. If we come to Him boldly, we may not find Him. Now you will probably quote Hebrews 4:12 to me now. It says Come boldly before the throne. I have heard this verse used many times to justify demanding things of God. But the rest of the verse says we can come boldly if we seek mercy. When we do, we will find grace so that we might help others in there time of need. In other words, we don’t come boldly to Him to fulfil our lusts.

Hosea 10:12 says we must break up our fallow ground before we seek the Lord. Our hearts have many hard areas and they need to be broken in order to effectively seek the Lord. Once again, we see brokenness as a key to seeking the Lord. Zephaniah tells us to seek righteousness and meekness. Seek to do right and seek to be meek. Meek is a form of gentle nature which sees God in control, not me. In Matthew 6:33 we are told to seek the kingdom first. How many times do we come to God seeking things for ourselves instead of the kingdom? How any times have we gone about seeking Him in all the wrong ways/ If we want to find Him, let’s start seeking as the word tells us to.

The las step is knocking. The knocking is the waiting. Continue knocking, continue waiting. This is one of the largest keys too answered prayer. It is being patient and waiting on the Lord. It is allowing God to answer in His time, not ours. He promises to answer over and over in His word, yet we fold when we do not have the answer in five minutes. I can guarantee God will answer your prayer every time if you will just wait on Him, continue to ask and seek carefully.

In Matthew 26:38-44 Jesus tells the disciples to watch and pray. This watching is the same as waiting. He told them to do this for themselves, not for Him. He said they should watch so they would not fall into temptation. They did not do so well, and all of them left Him when the guards came. John is the only one mentioned to be near the cross. In James 1:2-4 we are told to count it joy when trials come. Why? Because when our faith is tried our patience is built. That patience perfects us. Therefore, in the midst of our trials, we use our faith to build patience – waiting!

Then of course there is Isaiah 40:31. They that wait upon the Lord – you can probably finish it on your own. Waiting will actually make us stronger. It will give us more stamina. It will help us soar above our problems like an eagle soars high in the sky. This will enable us to wait longer. We don’t like to wait. We are in a microwave generation that wants everything now. But if you are really serious about having a more effective prayer life, waiting is essential.

Asking, seeking and knocking. Sounds so easy doesn’t it? In reality, it is. Mastering prayer takes a lifetime of practice. The Lord’s direction in putting together “The A.S.K. Principle” has helped me see all the shortcomings of my prayer life. I am sure it will be a great addition to your library as well. If you would like your own copy, it is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in both paperback and E-book format. Or you can get a signed copy from me by emailing me at pete@theaskprinciple.com. Read it and pass the word if you find it helpful!

New Blog Coming

Hello to all my fellow bloggers. Many of you know that I have been working on a book that is entitled The A.S.K. Principle. I blogged about this topic extensively a few months ago and I’m going to bring it back on a separate blog. I’m doing this because the book is now in full swing and is at the editors at this time. The publisher that I’m working through also suggest that I blog about the book to enable everyone to be more informed.

I will be sharing with you thoughts behind the book, how the publishing is progressing and excerpts from the book. There will also be posts about prayer and answered prayers. I pray this will be a blessing to you and will build your faith as we go along.

I have no plan as to what days or how often I will be posting on this site. Most of the posts will probably be simple and not very long so I might update it more often. In any case I hope you will follow along as we take a closer look at prayer and how it works in our lives.

I thank you for following this site and I will continue to post here until we finish our study in Galatians. Then I’m not sure which direction I will take with this blog but you can bet that God will direct me somehow. I wait for him to decide what he wants to do with the maintenance man.

Be blessed my friends

A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 8 Conclusion

I want to start by thanking you for coming on this journey with me. It has been remarkable to go back through notes I made 30 years ago and redo this study. I have learned once again about the power of our prayers, and what God asks us to do in order for our prayers to be more successful. There is much more involved than just talking to God, although that is the essence of our prayers.

I am going to start doing two things as result of going through this study. The first is to keep a list of things that I am praying for. I daily pray for dozens of various things, if not close to a hundred. I am not sure if I will get them all on this list, as some things crop up mid-day and I’m not near my journal. But I will do my best. The first thing is to find the time to make the initial list.

Once the list is made, I will go back to it and check of the ones that get answered. I may even use dates when I started praying for it, and when it was answered. I have one person I was praying for to get a new job, and he got it within a week. Another job-related prayer is still in the works.

Do you keep such a list? I believe it will be beneficial for my faith. I have no plans to share it with anyone, except my wife, unless God directs me to. Answered prayer is never something we should boast about. I keep such a list of all my poetry and another list with all the songs I have written (which needs to be updated). Why not a list of prayers?

In a quick review, we talked about what I call the A.S.K. Principal. Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. Asking involves being in the right spirit when we pray, understanding what God asks of us when we pray, and making sure we are asking according to scripture. We can be silent or loud, standing or bowing, on a mountain or in a boat. We can use our own language or our heavenly language. We can pray for anything the human soul and body requires as long as we have the right attitude and lifestyle to receive from the Lord.

Seeking involves being in His word, praying the way the Bible teaches us to pray, finding the time on a regular basis to be before God and regularly going to Him with our requests. It means looking at all the scriptures that address the need we have so that our faith can be built up. It means not giving up until we arrive at the answer.

Knocking means waiting patiently. It means submitting to His timetable, not our own. It means not grumbling or complaining when the answer doesn’t come right way. To means asking for wisdom to know what we may need to do to get to the answer. It means listening intently for God to speak and show us the answer.

We’ve learned that prayer is a simple conversation with God. The most important part of that conversation is listening. So often we miss the answer because we are too busy praying and don’t listen to what he has to say. Prayer should be a two-way conversation!
We’ve learned that prayer can be made anytime, anywhere for anything? God loves to hear our requests. What prevents us from coming to Him with our needs? Pride mostly. We feel we can handle things ourselves. So, we don’t pray about this thing or that and then find ourselves praying to get out of the jam we got into because we didn’t pray. Better to pray first, I say.

I pray that you have received as much as I have through this series of posts. Thank you
for every comment made and for all who took the time to go through the study with me.
I have started to work on the book, and have proofreading going on now. Do you think
this can sell as a book? I have never written a book before, so I have a lot to learn
about that process. It will be fun to learn what is involved. If you have any tips for me,
I am wide open to listen!

That’s a wrap!

A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 7 What Should We Pray For

I know. I know. We should pray for everything! Not a day goes by that each of us doesn’t have a list of things that need our attention in prayer. We have talked about every aspect of prayer, and have learned that God always answers our prayers.

In this chapter, I want to help build your faith a little more by showing you many scriptures that let us know God wants to hear our prayers, and answer our prayers, in various areas of our lives.

HEALING – James 5:14-15
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
We can call for the elders, or we can pray for someone ourselves. In any case, it’s the prayer of faith that saves the sick – that delivers them from their illness. Faith that does not waver, faith that is determined and persistent, faith that can move mountains, faith that has been tested and tried. This is the kind of faith we need for any prayer!

FINANCES – Joshua 1:8
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

God tells us how to be prosperous and have success. Three times in Joshua 1, God tells us this. We can pray for financial needs anytime we want, but if we are not doing what God says in Joshua 1:8, then He has no obligation to answer. If we are doers of this verse, and do it with all our heart, God will honor His word. After all, He magnifies His word even above His name (Psalm 138:2). It’s all dandy and good that you pray in faith, but make sure you are living in faith as well!

SAFETY – Psalm 91:11-12
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone

The key to understanding this promise are the words “in all thy ways”. If you meander off to the left or the right, or if you are tempted to jump off a mountain as Jesus was (Matt 4:6), that is not your normal way. If you are staying on that straight and narrow path that leads to God, He will keep you safe. He will watch over you every second and even send angels to guard you and hold you up. If you are going to pray that God will keep you safe and protect you in a certain situation, make sure you are on the right path. That is where the protection is.

DELIVERANCE – 1 Corinthians 10:13
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
The prayer of deliverance from any situation is always welcomed by God. We have to remember that God will answer that prayer in His time, because He may want you to go through this trail – it may be one that has been deemed a growth opportunity. Remember what James says – trials make our faith work so we can patiently be perfected (James 1:2-4). An answer does not always come right way, but it does come. In the meantime, we can know that God has equipped us to handle whatever He allows into our lives, so rest on that with faith!

GUIDANCE – Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
We all need guidance from time to time. It is essential, especially if we want to stay on that straight and narrow path. We pray regularly for God to guide us through situations that we are going through now, or that we know are coming up later. God says He will direct our paths – with a few things we should do first: Trust Him, don’t listen to your own thinking, and acknowledge He is in everything. When we do those three things, His guidance will be at our disposal!

OTHER PEOPLE – Eph 6:18
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Just before this verse is the description of the armor of God we must put on. That is all for our protection against the principalities and powers of our spiritual enemy. That this verse is right after that tells me that prayers for all the saints are a crowing part of that armor. This is something we must do to be protected from the enemy.

GOVERNMENT – 1 Timothy 2:2-3
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
It is so tempting to criticize and put down the leaders of our country for the way our government is running right now. We all know the problems we have. But God tells us to pray for them. Maybe things would be different if we would all do this one simple thing and stop the other!

WISDOM – James 1:5-6
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
We can have wisdom to understand why we are going through the trials of life, or wisdom for our next decision. It can be ours if we ask in the type of faith that can move mountains. God says that here. Solomon gained wisdom that way. But if we waver in our faith, we will receive nothing from the Lord. Let us build up a powerful faith!

SPIRITUAL GROWTH – Ephesians 4:14-15
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
I would guess most of us want to grow in our walk with the Lord. We don’t want to be children in Christ – we want to grow up and be mature in Him. That will enable us to avoid the traps of the enemy. We will have more understanding in His ways. We are told here that when we speak the truth in love, we will grow in Him. Speak the truth in love – always.

KNOW GOD’S WILL – Rom 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
When we give ourselves wholly to Him and allow the word to transform our mind, we will walk in that perfect will of God. We will go through trials with confidence in Him. The world will see how we handle the bad times and they will know by our testimony that we walk with God. We can be in His perfect will when we continue to allow His word to work within us.

These are just a few of the verses that tell us how to pray, what is required for our prayers to be answered, and the promises that will come our way if we simply walk in His commandments. As you can see, there are other things attached to each one of these that must be fulfilled before we can claim the promise of the verse.

I believe many in the church think they can pray whatever they think they have need of, and God will supply it, no matter how they are living. These powerful promises tell us different. We have an obligation to God before He has one to us.

I could list hundreds more verses to show you what to pray for and His promises to answer. This is just my favorite selection. Perhaps you have yours and could list them in the comments. I would love to read them.

Be one that has their prayers answered! Follow God in all you do. Our next, and last lesson will sum things up. Hope you’ll stay tuned for the grand finale!

A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 6 Where Should We Pray

 This chapter may sound dull to you, because you know as well as I do that we can pray anywhere we want to.  Most likely we do.  We pray when we have something come into our minds that needs prayer.  The Holy Spirit prompts us and we don’t wait until we get to church the next time, or until we are kneeling by our bed at night, or when we get back to our easy chair.  We pray right there, no matter where we are.

John 4:19-24 King James Version (KJV)

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.  21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.  22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Jesus and the disciples had travelled into Samaria while on their journeys. Many would go around Samaria because of the tensions between the Jews and Samaritans, but it was on the direct route between Judea and Galilee.  Jesus was not one to waste any time!

It was around noon and they were tired, so they stopped at a well and the disciples went into town to get some lunch and bring it back.  While they were gone, a woman came to the well by herself.  Usually the women would all come together, so Jesus probably knew this woman must be an outcast for some reason because she was by herself.

Jesus asked the woman fora drink, and she was shocked.  Jews just did not talk to Samaritans, especially men to Samaritan women!  She asked Jesus why He was talking to her, and Jesus told her if she knew who He was she would be asking Him for water – the Living Water that only He can supply.  He went on to explain Himself, which I am not going to dwell on today, and then came the portion of scripture above.  The main point I want to draw out of this scripture is the fact that Jesus says there is no particular place we will worship, but as long as the Spirit is there, we are in a place of worship.

We have talked extensively on being prepared for prayer and how we should pray.  As long as we follow the truth of scripture, our prayers are effective no matter where we are.  Let’s take a look at the various places Jesus prayed.  I am not going to display all of the entire scriptures, just the addresses.

On the Mountain.  Matt 6:9-13 – Jesus teaches the disciples to pray.

In The Field – Matt 8:1-2 – Jesus comes down from the mountain and prays for a leper

On the Street – Matt 8:6-9 – Jesus prays for the centurions son in the street

In a boat on the sea – Matt 8:26 – Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves

With a swine herd – Mat 8:29-31 – Jesus casts the legion into a swine herd

In someone’s house – Matt 9:1-9 – Jesus heals the paralytic man

In a crowd – Matt 9:20-22 – woman cured from an issue of blood

By the way-side – Matt 20:28-34 – two blind men healed

During a meal – Matt 26:26-27 – Jesus prays over the bread and wine

In a garden – Matt 26:39-44 – In the Garden of Gethsemane

On the cross – Matt 27:46 – Jesus cried out to God

These are just a few examples of various places Jesus prayed, and only from the book of Matthew.   If I listed them all, it would take too many pages.  The point I am making is that no matter where we are, we should pray when we see a need.  One of the astonishing things we read is that when people came to Jesus, or when He met them on His travels, He always took time to pray with them – no matter who was around or where He was.  The Bible tells us He healed them all!  Every leper, every blind man, every person possessed, every deaf and or dumb, every cripple, everyone sick –  He healed them all.

What about you?  I will confess that I am often intimidated by the world around me and don’t pray when I should.  When I see the lame man in Walmart, I usually don’t pray for them right there.  When I see someone sick at the doctor’s office, I usually don’t pray there.  If I see an accident on the side of the road, I usually don’t pray for them right there.  If someone comes up to me and asks me to prayer, I don’t always pray for them right there.  I most often wait until I am in the comfort of my car or home, then I go to the Lord in prayer.

Jesus was not intimidated by the world.  He would pray no matter who was around.  He had the faith and trust in the Father that He knew the healing would take place.  There was no doubt, no double-mindedness.  He knew blind eyes would open, deaf would hear, lame would walk, dumb would talk, demons would leave, lepers would be healed and dead would be raised.  Even in front of those who wanted Him dead, He did not back down.  He healed them all!

Is that why we don’t pray?  We are worried the prayer will not be answered?  If we think it won’t be answered, it won’t be.  James tells us that a double-minded man, one who’s faith wavers, will receive nothing from the Lord (James 1:6-8).  I know that this is my problem.  I don’t fully believe that they will be healed by my prayer – guilty as charged!  I need my faith built, my trust in God needs to be magnified a thousand times.  Then I need to step out boldly and pray for people no matter where I am or who is around me.

This world needs prayer warriors and those who will step out in faith and start praying for all the hurting people around us.  Not in the quiet of our homes, but out in the streets, in the malls, in the highways and byways of life.  Prayer warriors who don’t worry about who sees or who might mock us.  Will you be one of these?  Will I?

 

Be blessed