Asking the King

photoI’ve already told you guys recently that I’ve been focusing on prayer this month. (And it will probably continue for a while . . .) Whenever I turn back to studying prayer, I love to read Nehemiah. I love seeing prayer in action and watching how Nehemiah incorporates prayer into his daily life. He spends time on his knees alone crying out to God for his people and God’s blessing to be poured out on them. But, he also shoots quick prayers up to God when he approaches a challenging situation, like when the King asks him what he wants.

In reading Nehemiah 1-2 yesterday, I was encouraged by the fact that Nehemiah doesn’t hold back when the King asks him what he wants. He asks God for wisdom in telling the King that he wants to return to Jerusalem and rebuild his city, but then he dives in with his requests to the King:

  • send me back to Judah to rebuild the city
  • give me letters to pass safely from here to there
  • give me letters so that they will give me wood to build the city

In thinking through this, I think I might have stopped at “can I have a few months off to go and help with this project?” I would have been elated at that, and then tried to figure out the rest on my own. But, Nehemiah doesn’t do that. Nehemiah pushes forward and asks for everything he needs to get this going.

prayer2Perhaps this stuck out especially to me right now, because I’m in the process of getting this institute started, and I’m tempted sometimes to ask God to do something, but something only reasonable in my mind. Maybe I think I need $100,000, but that seems a bit ambitious and over the top, so I’ll start with $10,000 and make that work. Then, I’ll figure out how to make it go from there.

This problem of only asking God what we can conceive that He is capable of is wrong. It’s pride. It’s thinking that I can ask God to be gracious to a point, and then I’ll make up the difference.

There are always points to consider, of course. Am I asking something that is even in God’s will? Am I asking with an open heart, willing to accept an answer I don’t want? Am I really trusting God, not putting out a fleece, or testing Him?

BUT, all that to say, I think far too often I err on the other side. The side of playing it safe. The side of wanting to ask God, but not wanting to ask too much. But you know what? He’s the King. If He can’t do it, then chances are pretty good {aka: certain} that I can’t do it either.

What is the big thing your heart is yearning for? What impossible miracle are you waiting to happen?

Don’t limit yourself when you are asking the King!! 


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