I had an interesting coffee and catch up with a person who is fast-becoming a friend that I trust. I was introduced to her via my sister (thankyou !) and we have been able to share stories of God and his faithfulness to us both, as well as struggles and triumphs.
It was a great time and a much-needed time. In the conversation that unfolded, one of the questions I pondered with her was this question above – how do we ask God for things?
When I started out in ‘working life’ I worked in sales and had a summer job as a salesperson in America. In this role, there was a difference between a ‘soft sell’ and a ‘hard sell’, which would hopefully get the same result via different paths. This was a tough but great first route into confidence – which I have been building on ever since, ever so tentatively.
The reason I say this is because; when you sell, rejection is par for the course. You have to accept it and move on and learn how to improve for next time. Why do I say this? It has been useful to me in this season.
The question though, that has been rearing its head is – when does the confidence and articulation of thoughts and ideas become an arrogance or presumption before those that you are speaking to that your demands or thoughts will be listened to or acted on?
For instance – when I have been working in my current role, there have been moments where I have had to adopt a certain tone of voice or way of speaking to ‘get things done’. It is not necessarily how I would usually speak to someone, but it is how I have been getting results. Or take it another way – in my coffee and catch up time with my friend we had waited a long time for our food.
I started to naturally gravitate towards insisting on a discount or a free item of food/drink to compensate for our inconvenience. They were happy to give me this and I felt great at the time. But it made me wonder if the habit I am building/articulating is a healthy one.
What I know is that I am being challenged by God on humility and yet also he has whispered to me about something that appears to be completely the opposite. When I have been thinking about the above; the ease with which I am able to ask for things and sometimes get them – it makes me slightly concerned that I might be doing this with God – that there might be a slight swagger to my throne-room entrance.
I might be relegating God to a guy who gives me things. I really am hoping that I do not – but sometimes it is easy to do this. Does anyone else understand where I am coming from here?
And yet – I have been intrigued by stories of people who have been very specific in their requests to God. They have said in some ways ‘I want’ or ‘I would like’ and they have not held back. I think back to a time when I was looking to move – and I was so specific about what I wanted. I had a list of about 5/7 things that it needed. I got everything on the list!
I have heard similar stories with women who have got a ‘man list’ and they pray and say to God that ‘this is what I want’ my husband to be like. And they have got everything on their list too. It makes me wonder; do we approach God with nothing and no ideas of how we want our lives to pan out, or do we request and lovingly ask God ‘if it pleases you’ or ‘if you see this as your will’ ‘could you do this?
We have a habit in our family of asking each-other what we would like for Christmas and getting each other to write it down and send it. I rarely have any idea what I want and have in some instances literally written about five things down – despite having a list mentally as long as my arm! I wonder if I do that with God – that in some ways my life ‘want’ list is non-existent and meanwhile I hide my hearts desires behind my back.
I hope that in this season, God – in teaching me to just open my mouth and ask for things, will also begin to coax me into holding my heart in-front of him, knowing that he can see it all already. With God, not only is honesty the best policy – but it can lead to your hearts desires being met and exceeded. What if ‘I want’ became what I got? What if what I asked for happened? This is not God in a box – this is God unboxed. Doing what he does. Ask and you shall receive.
Rosie Robinson is a Press Service International young writer from England