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Why We Should Ask God for Specific Things in Prayer

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Believers often shy away from asking God for specifics. But the truth is, when we ask God for something, we humble ourselves to the fact that we need Him, and we acknowledge that He is able to provide.


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My husband plays professional basketball in Europe, and for the past 12 years, he has been fortunate to continue his career with different teams across the globe, usually signing a one-year contract with each respective team. Ideally, my husband would love to sign a two-year contract, opposed to one-year, which would guarantee more stability and a longer career, but up until the summer of 2019, he had yet to achieve that goal.

One afternoon this past summer, during a Skype call with our pastor, my husband casually mentioned weighing his options regarding where he may sign for the 2019-2020 basketball season.

Asking God for something shows our acknowledgment of His goodness, and as we pray for certain things in life, we are demonstrating our trust for His generosity and His everlasting, giving nature. We serve a loving, giving God, a God who wants to answer our prayers generously.

“Hopefully, I sign a two-year contract. That’s my goal,” my husband had said.

“Have you asked God for this?” our pastor asked.

My husband stopped for a moment, gathering his thoughts, and then replied. “Ask for a two-year contract? Well, no… I haven’t,” he replied, seemingly a bit thrown off by our pastor’s question.

“God wants you to ask Him for good things! ‘Ask and you shall receive,’ right?” our pastor excitedly encouraged.

As we ended the Skype call with our pastor, my husband and I started talking about the conversation that had transpired, and we immediately dove into our feelings regarding the topics of asking and receiving.

You see, my husband and I have prayed for abundance, we’ve prayed for health and happiness, and we have prayed for safety, but we haven’t necessarily asked for specifics regarding his contract. Granted, we’ve asked for safe travels, physical health and safety, and so forth, but when I think back to our prayer life, I don’t remember ever asking for a multi-year contract. Perhaps, in retrospect, we felt a bit silly or even selfish for asking for specifics, but with our pastor’s encouragement and wisdom, we realized that asking God for something shows our acknowledgment of His goodness, and as we pray for certain things in life, we are demonstrating our trust for His generosity and His everlasting, giving nature. We serve a loving, giving God, a God who wants to answer our prayers generously.

Unbeknown to my husband and I, we subconsciously felt selfish for asking God for things, and that is undoubtedly a planted seed from the enemy because the truth is—God wants us to ask! However, when I look back over my prayer history, I’m embarrassed at the shallowness of some of my prayers. Admittedly, I’ve prayed for tangible things. I’ve prayed for myself without giving thanks or praying for loved ones. I’ve also prayed for superficial requests, often asking God to take away my current set of worries, many of which were insignificant issues.

Despite my prayer history, God always makes time for our prayers, big and small, and He will never disconnect from our lives. He is a reliable God, and His glory is not conditional, either. Remember, God wants you to ask because He loves when we give Him our time and experience His glory, wisdom and strength. He wants us to know that through prayer, we will see more of Him.

In fact, there are several verses in the Bible that encourage us to ask. 1 John 5:14-15 (NIV) is a personal favorite, as this deeply resonates in my heart: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.”

In July of 2019, my husband signed his first, two-year contract. Twelve years into his basketball career, my husband accomplished the goal he set out to achieve many years ago, and we know with every fiber of our being that God orchestrated these plans. Ask and you shall receive indeed.