When do we ask rather than claim?
Question: “When do we ask rather than claim God’s Word? When are the times we can claim what God has already provided and when do we need to ask God for His directions and help?”
Some Bible promises have already been fulfilled by Jesus in the spiritual world such as God’s presence, His love, His healing, and His blessings. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). We can claim those things that God has already promised, already said are ours.
When directions are not specifically provided we need to ask in prayer for God’s directions, such as where to live, work, go to school, go to church, who to marry, and finances. These are things that we seek the Lord’s guidance on so that we may be in the Lord’s will.
Repentance is always one of those areas that require us to ask God to forgive us. And praise the Lord, He is always happy to forgive.
The following are some but not all verses on asking.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7).
Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:13-
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).
And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive (Matthew 21:22).
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them (Mark 11:24).
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9).
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him (1 John 5:14-
It is imperative that all verses pertaining to a given subject be included in our theological consideration rather than basing our view on just one verse. For example, the second verse says “Whatever… you will receive”. Does that mean I can ask and receive plans to rob a bank and not get caught or that I can ask for my neighbor’s wife? While the verses do say “whatever”, when we continue to search, we find that the last two verses say “according to His will”. We can quickly find that robbery and adultery are not within God’s will. The “Whatever” must be within God’s will.
And the second verse asks the question, is the Father being glorified through the Son. If it doesn’t, then we shouldn’t even be asking.
Does “Whatever” includes asking for healing. When we do not have sufficient faith to pray for yourself, we are told to call upon the elders. While we may ask God, the primary approach is to receive the healing that Jesus has already paid for. We are to have the faith to receive His promises.
We claim God’s promises, but when His promises do not clearly cover our needs, we ask in prayer.
The Lord starts to move instantly to answer prayers that meet His conditions, in the spiritual world, but His work often takes longer in the physical world as there are often many other things that need to be corrected first, including the oppression of the devil, our lack of faith, and our attitude and situation. By faith, we must believe that God is answering our prayers.
Next Section: What would be a summary of prayer?