“Ask” is one of the new commandments that Christ has given us. No. Really. Ask. Simple, right?
He has commanded us to ask. We are very acquainted with His words. “Ask, and it shall be given.” And so we try to ask God for things in our prayers. But most of us are not really asking; we are commanding Him, not asking Him!
I examined my prayer life, and I found that I was using commands in my prayers: “God, help brother William. Give him strength to fight the disease. Heal him, God.” Sounds okay. I’m trying to get some help for William. But I was giving God commands! “Help…Give…Heal…” I was telling God what to do and when to do it. I was not asking Him reverently. I was giving Him commandments instead of obeying His new commandment.
Someone will say, “But my heart was in the right place. God looks on the intent of the heart.” But should the “right place” be a source of commands for God to keep, dished out by us?
This new commandment is clear: “Ask.” Ironically, it is a command, telling us to use the interrogative mood in our prayers, by asking Him to supply our petitions. But we do not do this; we use the imperative mood, commanding Him to do things for us.
We need to stop telling God what to do. What audacity and hubris we exhibit toward Him! What a complete lack of humility we demonstrate. And we are not even aware of it!
Demanding of God and commanding Him to do things is being childish. We see it in our earthly offspring. Little children rarely ask for anything. For example, they don’t say, “May I have more toast?” They will innately use a command: “Give me some more toast.” Children command and demand; that is what they do.
The spiritual children of God are still giving commands. We must grow up and mature and obey Christ’s new commandment, “Ask.” By asking Him instead of commanding Him, we will immediately see and feel a softening of our hearts toward Him and others. We will begin to sense just how weak and vulnerable we are, and how strong He is.
“Ask and it shall be given” (Matt. 7:7). It is one of the first biblical precepts that we were exposed to. And yet, it is so profound. For when we ask God and not command Him, it leads us through the gates of humility and ushers us into the arena of true communion and communication. Getting this revelation opens up a most astounding promise. “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). It does not get any more exciting than that! Kenneth Wayne Hancock