How Does Asking Fit into Worship?
But doesn’t ‘asking’ really fit into prayer, not worship?
Yes, of course, but that doesn’t separate itself from worship. Your whole life – including your prayer life – needs to be bathed in an attitude of worship. When you ask in your prayers, you acknowledge God. You tell God that you are completely and utterly dependent on him. Your prayers extend worth to God because he is the one from whom you expect to receive. You are placing trust in him to be able to provide for what you are requesting.
Asking requires an admission of real need. We need a provider because we are unable to provide for ourselves. That admission is an act of worship because it elevates God to a position of being our ‘Jireh’ – our Provider.
Six times in the Gospel of John (11:22; 14:14; 15:7,16; 16:23-24), Jesus reminds the disciples that the Father will give them whatever they ask in his name. Why? “So that the Son may bring glory to the Father” (John 14:13). God expects us to ask, because when he answers, it brings glory to his name.
The admission of our need becomes harder the more independent we become. As long as I have a well paying, secure job with all my physical needs met and a good amount stashed away for retirement, I don’t really need God to be my ‘Jireh’. As long as my family and friendships are in good order, I don’t really need God to be my ‘Jireh’. Now I’m not saying that, therefore, we should become destitute and disenfranchised with our family and friends in order to allow God to be our ‘Jireh’. I’m simply stating that the more independent we are in this life, the more we need to be diligent in remaining dependent on God. Otherwise, we risk robbing him of his glory.
During the first few years of my ministry things were tight financially. There was plenty of work to be done, but not enough income coming in to provide me with a salary. Not until my fourth year in ministry did I begin to receive a half-time salary. During the second year Gayle began to work half-time which eventually grew into a full-time position. This took a lot of stress off the financial part of our lives and allowed us to begin to reduce our significant personal debt-load.
After her fourth year at a job that paid a good salary and benefits, she began to strongly sense God’s nudging her to leave and to begin her own business. I was not really enthusiastic about the prospect of another risk. We had just started to get on our feet financially. A regular income was a good thing! When Gayle told me that she was seriously thinking of quitting her job and going on her own, I just couldn’t accept it.
Then God gave me a dream (and I seldom have receive meaningful dreams) which confirmed several prophetic encouragements Gayle had received from others. There was little doubt that the little nudge we felt was being confirmed. But I didn’t want to let go.
I was convinced that we would go bankrupt and lose everything if Gayle started this business. Not because God couldn’t provide, but because I couldn’t bring myself to trust that he wanted to give good gifts to his children. I couldn’t even bring myself to ask God to build faith within me for that which I couldn’t envision. And I fought hard against following God in this act of obedience he was asking my wife to take.
Finally, I had to come to a point of acknowledging God’s lordship in my life and willingly follow him even if I couldn’t see the sense in it. I had to be willing to say with Job: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15 – KJV). Instead of complaining about what I thought I was about to lose, I began to ask God to build faith in me for what he could accomplish for Gayle, for our family and for the glory of his name.
God began to give me faith for what he was about to accomplish. Six years later as I write this book, I can testify, to the glory of God, that he has not only sustained us, but he has increased his provision for Gayle’s business and for us as a family.
But it’s much, much more than income and financial benefits. When we are faithful, God gives us joy. And wherever we can, we want to share of the goodness of the Lord with whomever God brings into our path. To him be the glory and the honour for he proved himself to be Jehovah Jireh – the Lord, our Provider.
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