What are you asking from God?
Maybe it can be as simple as just having a loving, healthy family, or it might be a grand and detailed request, like a four-bedroom townhouse. Or perhaps your prayers are as dire as “Lord, please save me from this sickness,” or “Lord, please take away this pain.”
In the Bible, we have an example of a man who had a bout with doubt, or in a way, a crisis of faith.
Genesis chapter 15, 1 to 6 says:
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue[a] childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”
God, in a vision, tells Abraham to fear not. God will be his shield and his reward will be great. At this point Abraham takes the opportunity to air his plea or a complaint, if you would, to God. “God, I don’t have any children, remember? I have no heir.”
He was kind of saying ‘What good is it if I have all these things, protection, abundant material blessings but not an heir to inherit them, a legacy to leave behind?” A few chapters back in Genesis chapter 12, God gave a promise to Abraham that he will be a father of many nations.
The problem was that Abraham was old when this promise was given. Here in chapter 15, 15 years later, Abraham still did not have a son, someone who will fulfill the promise of him being a father of many. And so Abraham brings out this issue at the table again for the Lord just in case, as if the Lord is unaware.
The Lord answers the the downhearted Abraham by giving him a lesson right there and then. He ushers Abraham outside and shows him the vast number of stars. God says: “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to count them, so shall your offspring be.”
What is happening here? God tells Abraham by giving him a sign, a parallelism: As the stars in the galaxies are in millions and billions, that is how many offsprings you will have. God would fulfill his promise but not in the timeframe that Abraham expected.
God knows what is good for us and when we should have it. The Bible tells us not to give up on praying. If something is really God’s will for us and if it is for our good and for His glory, He will definitely grant it. When? Only God knows. Just trust and follow Jesus. God will keep his promises. Our timing is not God’s timing. Our plans are not God’s. God will fulfill His word in due time.
Toward the last part of the dialogue with God, Abraham believed (v. 6). That was faith, and it was credited or counted to him as righteousness.
If we are willing to act on what we believe, then that is the proof that we actually believe when we obey God, at his Word. What is most important when we pray is God’s very presence.
Even though we don’t have everything, if we have God, we have all that we need. Even if we lose everything, if we have Jesus, we have all that we need.
A woman went to the hospital complaining of a certain pain. After the tests, the doctor told her she had an inoperable terminal cancer. In a moment of shock and silence, finally she told the Doctor: “I thank God for entrusting me with this cancer.”
Can we thank God for the bad things happening to us? Have we lost our livelihood, our health, our business, or worse, our loved ones?
But even if we lose everything, God is enough. He is sufficient, He is all in all. What more can we look for? God met Abraham in a vision. He revealed himself in a personal intimate way to Abraham. We get to have the same intimate personal time with God everytime we talk to him in prayer. Prayer is every Christian’s privilege to commune with the Creator of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Best of all, He is our Abba Father.
Come to God in prayer. Ask of Him, continue to pray earnestly, In the Bible there are hundreds of verses encouraging us to pray and ask the Lord.
We know that God knows our hearts’ desires, yet He still wants us to ask Him in prayer. Why?
1. Prayer requires us to humble ourselves before God.
2. When we pray it reveals we are limited and that God is unlimited. We are weak but God is strong.
3. Prayer re-affirms that we are ever dependent on God.
4. Prayer re-aligns us back into God’s will, His presence and His intimacy.
May we in this difficult season, continue to seek God’s manifest presence at any time of the day, spending time in prayer and worship. Wait constantly on the Lord. Like David, may we continually dwell in the house of the Lord. We can find joy, peace, and fulfillment, even in the time of COVID, as long as Christ is in us, and we are with Christ.