How often do you rely on your own ideas? Let me breeze you through a historical event in 2 Chronicles 16.
One of Israel's kings, Asa, started out as a man who loved and obeyed God. That changed toward the end of his life. An army surrounded his country, Judah, not letting anyone or anything in or out.
These are God’s people and God knows everything, so God’s going to save them, right?
Nope. Asa’s first reaction was to send gold from God’s temple to another king asking for help. But God told Asa that because he relied on another king, and not the LORD, he would be at war for the rest of his life.
Eventually, Asa died and his son Jehoshaphat became king (2 Chronicles 20). There came a day when three armies were coming against Judah. Jehoshaphat turned to God and God revealed that, because they trusted Him, He would fight their battle for them. By the time Judah’s armies reached the battlefield, there were no enemies left.
To recap: God knew Asa needed help but didn’t send it because Asa was trying his own ideas. God knew Jehoshaphat needed help and He did help because Jehoshaphat asked God for it!
It can be hard to accept that God wants us to ask, even though he already knows what we need.
Why do we pray if God knows everything? Here are a few ideas (Matthew 6:5-13):
- Because He said to
- Because that's God's plan for us building relationship with Him
- Without asking, we don’t know it’s from Him and just think it’s a coincidence
- Without asking, we don’t learn to be humble before God because we don’t know we need Him
- Without asking, we don’t learn to trust Him in the future. We pray, we trust Him more, so we pray more, so we trust Him more...
Praying leads to trusting God, and trusting God leads to praying more.
In an imaginary world where God doesn’t invite us to pray and just solves all our problems for us, people might never know God exists. They’ll never learn to trust Him, because they’ve never asked Him for help and seen Him answer prayers.
God doesn’t want to work thanklessly in the background. When we ask God for help and He answers us, we get to thank Him and trust Him more.
God wants us to ask because He wants to answer. Why does God answer our prayers? He's our father and He loves giving good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:9-11).
Sometimes we’ll ask for a particular thing. Sometimes we’ll ask for help and see what God does. Sometimes God’s answer will be “no,” or “later,” and even those answers can help us trust God more. There’s a time for each.
Whatever your prayer request is, ASK, and let God’s answer help you trust Him more!
What answer to prayer have you received that helped you trust God more?