Overcoming Asklessness

“If you never ask, the answer is always no.

That’s a common line in the world of sales and marketing, especially in reference to the need to close the deal. I came across that statement recently and it got my attention because it also applies to our prayer life.
James said, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2). How much clearer could that be? He also said, in the same passage, that we don’t receive because we ask with the wrong motives, but I am convinced, from my observations of others and from my own inconsistent prayer life, that the biggest problem for most of us is the first part of that equation. Someone I read recently called it “asklessness.”If you never ask, the answer is always no.
On a similar note, I came across a blog this week from Grant McDonald, called “Pray Anyway.” It hit me as a cure for asklessness, and a call to cut out the excuses for our lack of prayer. I thought I’d share it with you here:
When you don’t know how to pray, pray anyway! Ignorance is no excuse.
When you don’t feel like praying, pray anyway! Depression is no excuse.
When dullness sits on you like a vulture, and a you can’t muster enough enthusiasm to change channels, much less to pray, pray anyway! Boredom is no excuse.
When you see no need to pray and no reason to intercede for those about you, recognize this as a sign of impending danger and pray anyway. Blindness is no excuse.
When you’ve grown spiritually lazy and feel that you’ll never be able to pick up your Bible and read it the way you once did, especially pray anyway. Laziness is no excuse.
When you don’t understand what the big deal is about prayer, and you think it’s overrated because it never did you much good, pray anyway. Immaturity is no excuse.
When you’re too tired to remember your own name, and you know God will understand if you don’t pray, pray anyway. Fatigue is no excuse.
When you’re embarrassed to be back before God, confessing the same sins and admitting the same failures, come on and pray anyway. Shame is no excuse.
When you’ve been unfaithful and know it and you feel that burden of guilt that makes you want to run and hide under the porch, pray anyway. Sin is no excuse.
When the nagging voice of the enemy keeps telling you there is no God and even if there were, He’d never have anything to do with a nobody like you, you, pray anyway. Unbelief is no excuse.
We can bless ourselves immeasurably by rescuing our prayer life from bondage to our emotions and circumstances. There is no time and there are no conditions in which prayer is not necessary, not helpful, and not the right thing to do.
Let us pray.“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb. 4:15)
Have a blessed weekend. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
–Pastor Ken