by Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson
Do questions dog you or wake you up at night? What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Do you know how to ask God for help?
Recently I’ve heard people wondering—
- If it’s safe to return to business?
- What’s the right medical protocol for my issue?
- Does God want me to start a new project?
Even before the added complications of Covid-19, we faced questions that reached beyond our understanding. Where do you go for answers?
After observing His prayer life, a disciple asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. In Luke 11:1-13, Jesus showed His disciples and us the art of asking. Let’s look at the familiar verses of what many call the Lord’s Prayer in relation to finding answers to our questions.
Call Him Father: Jesus said to call God “Father.”
This speaks of our special relationship with God through Jesus and reminds us to approach God with childlike trust and humility. We aren’t asking an impersonal computer or busy call center for help. We’re approaching One who has a vested interest in us. One who counts us as family. His care for us reflects on Him (Ps. 23:3).
Remember God’s Nature When You Ask: “Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come” (Luke 11:2 NIV).
My husband is a seasoned relationship counselor. If I have a question dealing with people and relationships, I ask him. But I don’t ask him for technical support. He’s a counselor, not a techie.
Hallowed means holy. Our Father grants requests that line up with His nature. Remembering His holy nature eliminates foolish requests. Does my request agree with God’s character?
Ask God for Daily Needs: “Give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3 NIV).
For 40 years, God provided daily manna for the Hebrews in the wilderness. A few foolish people hoarded some for the next day, even though God told them not to. The day-old manna was stinky and wormy.
God provides the grace we need when we need it—not before. Learning to look to Him for my daily needs teaches me to trust Him and removes my fears of the future. How many of your concerns deal with the future? How might trusting God with today help you not worry about tomorrow?
Ask God with a Clean Heart—Forgiven and Forgiving: “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4 NIV).
If we have trouble forgiving, we need only to remember how much God has forgiven us. By receiving God’s forgiveness, we then have grace to extend to others. This clears any blocked channels so we can better hear from God. Has unforgiveness hampered my connection to God? What do I need to confess and forsake? Who do I need to forgive?
A Different Kind of Protection: “And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:4b NASB).
God never tempts anyone (James 1:13). So why does Jesus include this? To remind us to ask for protection from temptation. I once read of a study where individuals were put in a room with a plate of fragrant chocolate chip cookies and told not to eat any. Other individuals were given a plate of radishes and told not to eat.
Afterwards, both groups were given a set of problems to solve. Those who hadn’t spent energy resisting cookies spent more time solving the problems before giving up. Resisting temptation taxes our strength and energy. When we put ourselves in positions to be tempted, we drain strength and energy that could be channeled to more profitable endeavors.
The Most Important Ask: “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13b NASB).
Today, the Holy Spirit indwells every believer (Rom. 8:9). Whatever fills us controls us. A person controlled by worry acts very different from one filled with hope. When we yield to the Holy Spirit, we manifest His fruit (Gal. 5:22-23), have the power to resist sin (Gal. 5:16), and understand His will for each day.
When you need help, ask God. Your heavenly Father wants to help you.
About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big Godand Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, is to be released February 2020.
She and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.
Join the conversation: What part of the Lord’s Prayer is most difficult for you to pray?