The Ask

by Janet Holm McHenry

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 NIV

I don’t like asking for things.

I was a horrible fund-raising mom. My kids would be given the assignment to sell Christmas wrapping paper or See’s Candy or doughnuts…and I would buy all the things. All. The. Things.

I’m also not good at recruitment. I feel as though I’m imposing on others by asking them to do something for me. And what if they said no? I’d feel awful.

This mindset weirdly slips into the prayer realm. I rarely ask for myself. Perhaps I don’t feel I’m worthy or perhaps I feel I’m bothering God. Maybe you feel like that too.

But Jesus told us (in Matthew 7:7-12 NIV), “’Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

What I often forget is that I have a good Father who delights in giving good gifts. He sees me praying for other people and their hard situations. He knows this sometimes exhausts me by the end of the day. He knows that I too have challenges and hurts and burdens that are too hard for me to carry alone. I picture him saying, “Janet, you shouldn’t lift that heavy luggage all by yourself. Let me carry that for you into the house.”

I also forget God will not only help me with my hard stuff: He is also excited about showering me with blessings…answers to impossible prayers that are beyond my reach. Sometimes I’ll pray with my hands extended straight out or straight up and pray, “God, this is beyond my reach. I have a dream to do this wild and crazy thing, but You will have to step in and make it happen. And I trust you for it, because You are the God who can do the impossible.”

I can pray this because I know that if I had asked, He would have bought all the figurative Christmas wrapping paper or See’s Candy or doughnuts for me. He’s that good.

Yes, it’s okay to ask for myself. I just need to remember to include my own needs and heart’s desires as I look up each and every day and pray on behalf of the world around me.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

PrayerWalk: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Strength, and Discipline by [Janet Holm McHenry]

About the author: Janet McHenry is an international speaker, creator of the online course called Prayer School, and the author of 24 books—including the bestselling PrayerWalk. Formerly a high school English teacher and her small school’s official basketball scorekeeper, Janet has recently taken up cheering others from the sidelines by coaching new writers and hosting the Sierra Valley Writers Retreat. She loves connecting with others on social media and through her website: www.janetmchenry.com.

Join the conversation: Do you hesitate to ask God for yourself?

5 thoughts on “The Ask

  1. LOL! I have the same problem. I was horrible at sales because I couldn’t make “The Ask.” I’d dance around it like a clumsy ballerina. Thanks for a great blog, Janet.

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  2. Hi Janet, I identify with you in that I am not a “salesman”–even have a hard time with books–easier for me to give them away. I read your Prayer Walking book when it first came out and it was so helpful because I love walking and it gave me the ideas I needed to make it worthwhile. Thanks! Fran Sandin

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  3. I can relate with the not wanting to ask for help. Both for myself or for others to participate in something. Asking for help for myself, no matter how bad I might need it, I always feared others agreeing “ONLY” out of a feeling of obligation. I seriously have an issue of people helping others out of a sense of obligation. People should only say yes because they truly “WANT” to help not because they feel that they have to. God is working with me on this but I know I have a lot of growing in this area still.

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  4. My hand is up also. I’m one of those “hard time to ask-ers.” I also still have tons of growth to go but grateful for God’s strength for progress. Yesterday as I traveled home, I received a text saying my flight was delayed. Usually I’m the one who just goes along for the ride and not make waves. But I realized it would make me miss my connecting flight. Still, normally I would just say, “Oh well, that’s the way it goes.” But I noticed the gate’s announcement board still showed the original departure time so I was curious. I went up to the desk and asked about it. I explained I was going to miss my connecting flight. Long story short, she found a flight with another carrier at another airport 45 minutes away, booked it for me, provided taxi service and I was off. I ended up arriving at my destination two hours sooner than I would have originally. I’m going to remember this example of God’s provision because I took action in His strength. Thanks for sharing, Janet!

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