// Lynette Hagin
John Wesley once said, "God does nothing except in response to believing prayer." That's the law He has designed to operate on this earth—the law of prayer.
In other words, our Heavenly Father works through the prayers of His people. He shapes the world by the prayers of His saints. But that means He has to find someone who will intercede in prayer.
If we want the will of God to be done in this earth, it is our responsibility to pray that His will is done. The Lord's Prayer says, "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:9–10). I don't know about you, but as long as I'm here on this earth, I want to be surrounded by the will of my Heavenly Father!
Prayer is our responsibility as Christians. God has called each and every one of us to pray. In fact, it seems that He cannot carry out His plan on the earth without the prayers of His saints, which means we have a mighty job to do in prayer!
The law of prayer requires us, as believers, to pray so God can answer our prayers. In other words, we are supposed to ask, and then He answers. Now, I know that God is all-knowing. Jesus said the Father already knows what we need before we ask (Matt. 6:32). He also knows our desires. But He still requires that we ask Him for those things. James 4:2 says, "Ye have not, because ye ask not." God expects us to ask!
Let me share a story with you that illustrates what I'm talking about here. When I was 16 years old, I had some babysitting jobs and was beginning to earn some money. At the time, contact lenses had just come out, and I desperately wanted to have some contacts.
I knew there was no money in our family's budget to provide contact lenses for me. So being the independent person that I've always been, I said to my dad, "I desire to have some contact lenses. I want to go to the bank and borrow the money for contacts."
My dad thought it was a good idea for me to establish some credit, even though this was certainly establishing credit at quite an early age. But my dad was not only a minister, he was also a businessman. And he thought this was a good thing for his daughter to do.
So he told me, "OK. I'll go to the bank with you and you can borrow the money."
When we went into the banker's office, my dad and I sat down. Dad introduced me to the banker, and I thought surely he was going to explain what I wanted. But we just sat there for several minutes, and my dad didn't say a word!
Finally I thought, "If I'm going to get this loan, I'm going to have to ask for it myself." So I gathered up my courage and said to the banker, "This is what I want to borrow. I have a babysitting job, and I'll pay it back."
"That's fine," the banker replied. Then I signed my name on the paper, and when we walked out of his office, I had the loan.
As we were leaving the building, I looked over at my dad and said to him, "Daddy! Why didn't you tell the banker what I wanted?"
My dad replied, "Lynette, I wasn't the one who wanted something. It was you. You needed to ask."
It's the same way in our relationship with our Heavenly
Father. We can't depend on our spouses to ask God for the things we need. We can't depend on our friends to ask for us. And our children can't depend on us to ask the Heavenly Father for the things they desire. Yes, we can all lift each other up in prayer. But we all must learn how to ask the Father for ourselves!
Jesus Said to Ask
There are a number of passages in the Bible where the Lord Jesus Christ told us to ask. Let's read one of those passages from the Book of John.
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Remember, when Jesus spoke those words, He was not addressing a crowd of world-renowned Christian televangelists. He was speaking to His disciples. He was speaking to you and me. And He said that whatsoever we ask in His Name, the Father will give it to us. Jesus was urging us to ask!
In another passage from the Book of John, the Lord told His disciples, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13). After Jesus made that statement, the disciples must have looked at Him incredulously. They probably thought, "Jesus, are You talking about anything that we ask?"
So what did He do then? In the very next verse, He repeated what He had just said—"If ye shall ask ANY THING in my name, I will do it" (v. 14). But then He gave them the qualifier for their asking. Verse 15 says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
If you love Me! Jesus is talking about relationship, isn't He? You see, our asking is tied to our relationship with the Lord. It's tied to our love for Him and keeping His commandments. If we have a close, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and we're obeying His commandments, then if we ask anything in His Name, He will do it for us.
God desires to give us the things we need and want. But we still must ask Him for them. This is the law of prayer—the law by which God brings His will to pass in the earth. As we boldly ask God to meet our needs and wants, we will receive answers from Him.