James A. McMenis
Prayer: You Have to Ask
James 4:2 teaches us that we have not because “we ask not.” Nothing is as fundamental to the Christian walk as prayer. I once heard that any failure in life is a prayer failure. That’s a heavy statement, but a very real one! It’s time that we understand the power of prayer and to prioritize prayer in our lives.
There are some that live with the idea that because God already knows our needs, there’s no need to pray. Many miss the importance and power of prayer. Prayer is a privilege that has been given to us by God’s grace and we must not take it for granted.
I believe that the most powerful position for any believer to be in is when they are declaring the Word of God in the authority of the Name of Jesus! With that being said, let’s look at several key principals to prayer.
First of all, we must recognize that the Biblical portrait of prayer is that of a legal petition. Notice the following parable that Jesus put forth on prayer:
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth.” (Luke 19:1-8)
In this parable Jesus used a legal petition as the model. It describes a widow making a lawful request before a judge. Jesus used this example to portray the power of bringing God’s Word before Him in prayer!
Isaiah 34:16 declares,
“Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.”
We are being challenged to seek His Word. When one makes a legal petition, they must know what grounds they have. God’s Word is our foundation in prayer! God’s word will not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11) and Jesus said, “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 15:7). Learn the power of using the Word in prayer!
Secondly, we must recognize the power of the Name of Jesus! “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). Be sure and exercise the power of His name in prayer!
Lastly, follow Jesus’ model in prayer. In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus gives us the perfect outline for prayer. He says, “After this manner therefore pray ye” (v.9). His instruction in prayer begins with calling on God’s Kingdom and His will to be done in earth as it is in heaven. Ultimately, that should be our desire in prayer —for the will of heaven to manifest in earth!