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Let Your Requests Be Made Known

“Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear...” These lyrics ring often ring true in the heads of Christians everywhere. When faced with troubles or challenges, temptations or cares, people tend to try and push through on their own instead of reaching out for help. How much pain and suffering could we save ourselves just by going to God in prayer?

In the auditorium class, we have been studying Joshua. In the beginning of chapter 7, Joshua sends men to spy out Ai and forms a battle plan. As far as the text goes, it seems there is no inquiry to God about how to take the city. In other texts, God says “I have delivered them into your hands” but not in this scenario. The Israelites are pushed back, defeated, and ultimately left wondering why they couldn’t take the city, when the land was given to them. Although they had great faith, it wasn’t enough. There was sin in the camp that had been hidden, and as a result of this Joshua’s plan ultimately failed, and many men lost their lives. One can’t help but wonder if this had been taken to the Lord in prayer, how much pain and suffering could’ve been avoided.

Matthew 7:7-12 reads, “7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him ca stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Here Jesus tells his disciples to ask in prayer, and you will receive. How much pain and suffering could we avoid by simply going to God in prayer? Does this mean that we will get the answer we want every time? No, but it does mean that God cares for us and is looking out for our best interests.

Sometimes, we don’t feel the need to pray, because we don’t think we will get what we need. This stems from a lack of faith. God knows what we need, and all we have to do is ask. Matthew 21:22 reads, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” In this passage, Jesus is addressing his disciples and telling them if they have the faith of a mustard seed, God will move mountains at their request. This should give us confidence to know that God will help us through our trials with whatever we need, only if we ask.  This should give us great confidence to bring everything to God in prayer more frequently.

Knowing this, why still do we sometimes not ask of God when we are in need? Is it because we are afraid that God will say no? Sometimes the answer to our prayers will be no, but it is for our good, and His will is done. Is it because we are afraid it is too miniscule? As the title of the song goes, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” Don’t we tell our friends everything? Why don’t we tell God? Our friends can help comfort, but only God can provide true comfort, and through His word, lead us in the right direction and down the right paths in our lives.

Prayer can accomplish more than we can ever imagine. James 5: 16-18 reads, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” If we are righteous, our prayers can have great power through God. Elijah was even able to pray for a drought for three and a half years. No matter our struggles and worries, if we have faith, we can go to God, ask in faith, and help get exactly what we need at that time, even if we know it or not. All we have to do is take the first step and go to God in prayer, and God will take care of the rest.

We have this great privilege of prayer, and through it we can find solace. Next time we find ourselves in a bind, instead of trusting in ourselves to accomplish something, we should stop, take a moment, and inquire of God, no matter the circumstances. We simply must take it to the Lord in prayer.