Once I was talking to a client about some of his goals and dreams for the next year. I enjoyed the conversation, full of so many big asks. Suddenly he said, “Is it okay if I ask for these things? Can I actually just say what I want? I don’t know if I’ve ever voiced these desires of my heart. It’s almost scary to speak them aloud.” I loved this question. Because I think we all have a tendency to restrict our ask, because we don’t want to seem greedy.
Here are two answers to this difficulty.
1. First, the New Testament answer
In Philippians 2:13, we read
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” .(NLT)
Basically, because God works in us, his Spirit creates our desires as we walk with him. As such, we can embrace the things that God has put on our hearts, because he gave us the desire to begin with. And if you have a desire that isn’t God-given? We pray, as Epaphras did for the church at Colossae,
“that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God”(Colossians 4:12)
God is able to prune your desires as needed.
2. Second, the Old Testament answer.
About 20 years ago, the book The Prayer of Jabez came out, based on I Chronicles 4:10.
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
Jabez asked for blessing and influence, for protection and comfort. Look at how the verse ends. It doesn’t say, “And God, angered, smote Jabez for asking for too many blessings.” No. Jabez prayed a big prayer, “And God granted his request.”
God said yes.
Do you go around asking the Lord to bless you? Do you ask for more influence? Do you ask for protection? (After all, as any investor knows, it’s so terribly important not to lose the gains you’ve earned.) Do you ask for comfort? If you have some desire in your heart, voice it.
When you partner with the Workplace Prayer team, we welcome your big prayers. We’ll even take your big prayers and add to them. So: what is it that you want in the next season of your life? You have permission to actually just say, “This is what I want.” And then we’ll pray for it.