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James 4: 2     God’s Word Translation

You don’t have the things you want, because you don’t pray for them.

Many of us know this verse as, “You have not because you ask not.” Seeing it in the God’s Word Translation certainly sheds some light on the meaning held within the text. It is clear that James, Jesus’ brother, thinks we should ask Father for the things we want. What do you think Jesus would, himself, say? Here are some quotes from Jesus.

John 15: 7  NASB

If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

GOD’S WORD Translation
If you live in me and what I say lives in you, then ask for anything you want, and it will be yours.

John 15: 16

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

John 16: 23

And on that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.

John 16: 24
Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

GOD’S WORD Translation

So far you haven’t asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive so that you can be completely happy.

There is a theme here which I am sure you see. I was reading my Bible recently when these verses seemed to shout for attention. Jesus wanted to bring to my notice that he and the Father want to answer prayer. It seems they want us to ask. That wasn’t all though. He wanted me to believe and to encourage you to believe that when we ask, we receive. The message he conveyed was, ask believing that he will answer; expect that he will provide.

I was very excited but also a little overwhelmed by the message because it seemed so urgent. Consider, this is a glimpse from only one book. Run a search on the word “ask” in Matthew and see what you get. The point is that this is not an isolated statement. Jesus wants to get across to us that he has a methodology in place. He seems to be moving us into an understanding that there is an established method for working with him on our needs and wants. This is not a begging forum. Father God and Jesus have established a way for us to work together and Jesus wants to take this opportunity to train us.

In my mind’s eye, I see a business office. I can see Jesus sitting in what looks more like a conference room than an executive office. The walls are predominantly glass which likely represents openness and accessibility. It seems this “office” is set up to receive people and to facilitate open, ready access to him. People stream in, give him their requests and then leave. It looks so simple. Give him the request, believing he will take care of it. As I watch people enter and hand him their requests, they have no stress on their faces. If anything, they look like the matter no longer occupies any of their mind space.

I am overwhelmed by Jesus’ insistence that we ask him. I have felt that way towards people myself at times. You see them struggle with something for which you have a skill or a tool. You want to offer; you want to jump in and help but you know you cannot. They must come on their own for it to have value to them. So, you wait. You drop little hints or try to make yourself plainly visible hoping they will ask, but so often they don’t, so you meander off. I think Jesus and our Father want to help us way more than we let them. I think they are dropping little hints to us hoping we will ask for their help.

Ask and you shall receive, but ask in belief and faith. Ask knowing that your heavenly Father wants to help you and Be Blessed.

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