Ask and Receive
James Smith, 1842
"Ask, and you shall receive!" John 16:24
The Lord has provided and stored up in Christ, all blessings for His people, and has made it both their duty and privilege, to seek those blessings from Him by prayer. He has given them every encouragement . . .
to pray fervently,
to ask freely, and
to petition boldly —
for all they want!
He has said, "Enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly." Matthew 6:6.
"ASK — and it shall be given you;
SEEK — and you shall find;
KNOCK — and it shall be opened unto you.
For everyone that asks, receives;
and he who seeks, finds; and
to him that knocks, it shall be opened.
If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how MUCH MORE shall your Father who is in Heaven, give good things unto them that ask Him!" Matthew 7
"You have not — because you ask not." James 4:2.
"Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. Whatever you shall ask the Father in my name — He will give it to you." John 16:23. 24.
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16.
"Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear." Hebrews 12:28.
"God is able to make ALL GRACE abound toward you; that you always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8.
Let us then attend to the Apostolic exhortation, "Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6.
And to this, Jesus encourages us, by assuring us, that, "whatever we shall ask the Father in His name, that He will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If we ask anything in His name He will do it." John 14:13, 14.
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness (or liberty) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new living way; which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having a High-priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:19-22.
But many of the Lord's people speak as though they were at a loss to know what to pray for; and many by their prayers make it manifest that they do not know their privileges, and what they are warranted to expect from the Lord; but as Jesus is the same as He ever was, as the promises of God remain unaltered — if we pray for the same blessings as the Apostle sought, we cannot err. Now we find the Apostle praying thus for the church, "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come!" Ephesians 1:17-21
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us!" Ephesians 3:16-20
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God!" Philippians 1:9-11
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves!" Colossians 1:9-13
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
"With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ!" 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
"The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and your whole spirit and soul and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Such were the prayers of the Apostle for His brethren, and those for himself were similar. Nor did those prayers remain unanswered; NO, God was faithful, and made good His word; and what believers in old times enjoyed — we in our time should pray for. "Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:-24
Surely the Lord's hand not shortened, His love exhausted, or His nature changed! No — but our iniquities have separated between us and our God, Isaiah 59:2; we have departed out of the way; we have stumbled at the law, and have been partial in it. Malachi 2:8, 9. We "have not, because we ask not. We ask and receive not, because we ask amiss, that we may consume it upon our lusts." James 4:2, 3.
We should regulate our prayers by our needs, and our needs by God's precepts; if God commands us to do a thing — He has promised wisdom, strength, and direction; but His promises are made to believing and to prayer. The language of our God is, "I will be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them." Ezekiel 36:37.
Reader, are you praying for the same great, suitable, and glorious favors which the Apostle prayed for? Remember, if you are a believer, they are as much promised to You, as to the church in old time. You have . . .
the same warrant to pray for them,
the same covenant God to address,
the same Advocate before the throne,
the same name to plead, and
the same faithfulness to rest upon.
Compare your prayers then . . .
with those of the Apostles,
with what the saints once enjoyed,
with what God has promised, and
with the precepts that are to regulate your life
— and let the time past of your life suffice you, to have been satisfied with small things. Now open your mouth wide, and God will fill it!
Psalm 89:10. Ask of Him largely, beg of Him earnestly, and you shall receive abundantly. "Call upon Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you know not." Jeremiah 33:3. "In the day when I cried — you answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul." Psalm 138:3. Go you and receive likewise, ever remembering, that "God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or imagine!" Ephesians 3:20