As a child I picked up the idea that it was best to be hesitant to ask for things. Instead, giving was the seen as the ideal, and being able to anticipate the needs of others (without them asking) and to respond appropriately was seen as an ultimate virtue.
Naturally I applied my hesitancy about asking to my beginning relationship with God as well, thinking that it was better to thank and praise God than to ask God for what I thought I needed.
Years later i realised how much I like to be asked for help or for things I might be able to provide. I liked that someone would be willing to ask me for something.
There’s an attractive humility there, and even an affirmation that I am seen as willing to help and generous Then I realised that if I like to be asked, then perhaps God likes to be asked as well?
The answer is YES – God does like to be asked and here’s the proof:
“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to them. Mt 7
I like the way that asking God is not a guarantee that we will get exactly what we ask for. God is not a fairy godmother, granting three wishes no questions asked.
Instead God responds as a loving parent, not simply giving the child everything but at times holding out so that a greater blessing can be bestowed and received.
The simple act of asking awakens my capacity to receive, and focusses my hope.
And I also like the way that the three words ask, seek and knock spell ASK – that doesn’t happen with these words in other languages which surely is proof that God likes working in English.