Are you unsure how to approach God with your requests? What should you ask for? How should you word it? He wants us to bring our concerns before Him. Here are 7 ways to ask God for help.
1. Ask God.
Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
James 4:2b, NLT
I know. This seems really obvious, and it is when it’s written in bold letters with a #1 beside it. But I cannot even tell you how many times I get ambushed by a situation and my first reaction is to call my husband or my mom or Google information on the topic. Yeah, I’m not proud of that. I have free, 24/7 access to the all-knowing God of the universe and I look to Google? Seriously?! (I hang my head in shame.)
God doesn’t just hand us everything we need before we even realize we need it. He waits for us to ask. He wants us to acknowledge our lack and His corresponding sufficiency. Doing so deepens our relationship with Him which is what He’s after anyway.
2. Ask with the right motives.
And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
James 4:3, NLT
This is the very next verse after the first one, so they go hand in hand. We must look to God with a proper attitude in our heart. Does it seem like God isn’t answering my prayers? Maybe I need to check my spirit and determine if my motives are selfish or if I’m truly seeking His will.
3. Ask with thanksgiving.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Phil 4:6, NIV
This is one of the most highlighted verses in the Bible. I often focus on the “pray instead of worry” part of the message and overlook the “with thanksgiving” part. When I’m anxious, thankfulness doesn’t usually flow from me. But we are supposed to go beyond merely flinging our worries heavenward and actually contemplate all we have to be thankful for.
4. Ask in faith.
But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
James 1:6, NLT
God must be more than just one of the many options we are considering to handle our situation. It’s not like I talk to several people, check the internet, pray about it and see whose answer I like best. That’s not how prayer works.
God wants us to put all our eggs in His basket and trust Him to only break the ones necessary to bake up something delicious. If were looking at all our options and teetering between the culturally popular course of action and where God is leading us, we will make ourselves seasick.
SEE ALSO: Can My Prayers Move a Sovereign God?
5. Ask big.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Mt 19:26, NLT
God is infinite. Don’t insult His power and compassion by only asking small, safe prayers. Approach His throne with confidence and pray boldly. He’s waiting to show you amazing things you can’t even imagine, but you have to trust Him first.
6. Keep on asking.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Mt 7:7-8, NLT
Jesus doesn’t want us to be quitters. He told us to pray and not give up. God isn’t a genie and prayers don’t work like the drive-through. He doesn’t guarantee 15 minutes or it’s free and no, you can’t always have it your way. Sorry.
Just because He’s on His own timetable doesn’t mean we lose hope and give up. We just keep pressing on and pushing in and trust that there’s a purpose for the wait and He’s planning something awesome.
7. Trust that he hears you and will respond in the way that is best.
You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Mt 7:9-11, NLT
Sometimes God is silent when we call. Sometimes He is still when we beg Him to act. Sometimes circumstances get worse before they get better.
None of this means we prayed wrong, or God misunderstood what we meant, or that He’s lost control of our situation. He is present. He has heard. He is trustworthy.
Which of these 7 ways of asking God for help will you do today?
But wait, there’s more! See all the free printables to add to your prayer guide here.