(Jesus said) "Until now you have asked nothing in My Name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24
Back in 1985, I learned the power of asking a question that literally changed my life. I was dating this wonderful girl named Marie Yvette Hernandez. Oh, she was beautiful, she was smart, she was great to talk to. She was a fun person to be around, a fun person to do things with. It would seem like the easiest thing in the world would be to ask someone like that to marry me. But Yvette teases me to this day that when I asked her to marry me, from her point, it seemed like I immediately tried to give her a way out, almost taking my proposal right back. Now, why would a guy like me, who couldn't think of any better person to spend my life with, why would I be so afraid to ask the question: "Will you marry me?"
Every guy listening in today knows the reason why. There's fear at times like that, a fear of rejection. Such fear comes because you know the person you're asking is special. You know you love them, but you worry if they'll love you the same in return. You worry about whether they'll answer "Yes," or "No," because their response matters. A yes from them could change your life. A no from them could leave you emotionally devastated. All I can say was thank God I was willing to ask.
I think Jesus is telling us to take a risk like that with Him, and more. Too many people don't pray, don't share with God their fears and dreams because they are afraid He might dismiss them, or even worse, reject them. Maybe the reason we don't make our concerns and petitions known to God is because we really don't believe that He cares for us or that He cares that much about us. That's why Jesus makes it clear. If you want to know how God Himself feels about you, look at who He is, look at what Jesus Himself has done for you. His cross, His resurrection -- that's God's love in action for you. And if a God in heaven loves you that much, of course He wants to hear and answer your prayers.
So ask, pray! When love from God is that sure, when His love is that certain, it makes asking and praying so much easier. And even those times when you feel like God answers your prayers "No," you already know that even that answer is for your good. So in that confidence and in that boldness, ask, make petitions of God in Jesus' Name, and receive whatever God has in store for you with a joy that He wishes you to have because you ask. I learned a little aspect of that truth over 30 years ago when I courageously asked a beautiful lady to marry me. Imagine how your life will change when you have the courage to pray, to ask the big questions of God, because you know He loves and cares for you.
Ask and see!
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, give us courage to ask whatever we need of You in prayer and contentment to receive whatever answer You give because we know that You love us in all things! Amen!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"