How do you feel about asking for help?
Are you like me, you waffle and wait, and try to figure things out by yourself or better yet, set your problem aside where you won’t see it, procrastinating, delaying the inevitable? Or do you approach it differently, head on, with shameless audacity?
If you really need help whether you’ve put off doing something to the last-minute and you are pretty much out of options, or sudden surprise occurs or disaster strikes and now you are officially in a tight spot. What do you do then?
When you are past the point of doing it on your own, you need to call on someone. You need to swallow that silly self-serving pride, bite the bullet and make the call. Who are you going to call on and how will you go about it?
Jesus gave us an example
When he was telling his Disciples about how to pray and how to ask when we are in need.
Let’s say you have a friend, and you go to their house because you have a pressing need, never mind that the hour is late and the lights are out. You make noise, you ring the bell, knock on the door, buzz the buzzer or even punch in their cell phone number as you’re standing under the darkened doorpost.
Sure, your friend is none too happy to be awakened from sleep, or perhaps the doorbell woke the kids as well? Great! The light flips on, the door opens a crack, and they stare out at you in utter disbelief Possibly thinking ‘This is my ‘friend’ doing this to me? At this hour? I know I would be thinking that way.
Well, there’s no turning back at this point. After apologizing profusely, you tell your buddy what it is you’ve come for (bread, eggs, sugar, a laptop, extra bedding, money, you name it… ). All I can say is that this episode won’t fall under the ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ category. After an initial refusal, your wise friend realizes they are already awake and will probably not find rest, either from your pestering or from their guilt for refusing to help. In the end they give you what you’ve requested.
This is what Jesus said
About the man who went to his friend to ask for something in the middle of the night, and what the result was.
„I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.“
Luke 11:8-10 NIV
Then how should we ask?
Shameless audacity! Did you catch that! Jesus was referencing how this man was asking for something he needed. Now there are two things that strike me about this:
When we come before God we come as children, cleansed by the blood of Christ, we are forgiven and we have no need for shame. We can come with our needs to Him.
This means a willingness to take bold risks. That means we can boldly approach the throne with our request, though with proper esteem. We should not be shy about what and how we are asking.
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.“
When preparing for missions, I remember I went through all the courses and classes at church and did the extra Biblical studies that were recommended. I wanted to get my feet wet first with a short term mission and after I applied to one organization I had a talk with my pastor. He told me he had some reservations about the group, and he asked me to pray about my decision to go.
I was torn about it because was certain the Lord wanted me to take this step. I laid everything before the Lord in prayer. As for financial support I didn’t ask the church, though it would have helped cover the costs for the 6 months. All the while I prayed about it, there was never any indication that I should stay home . If the Lord wanted me to stay and asked me to step off the plane at the last moment, I would.
My friends poured out words of encouragement, but also wished that I wouldn’t leave. That was hard because I struggled to discern whether to go or stay. It turned to a greater joy knowing their deep friendship. Then one of the church Elders approached me and said that the missions council decided to support me. I was bowled over! And my pastor, in the last sermon before I left, helped me solidify my decision to act on God’s yes, and gave me my answer in his words:
9The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs16:9 English Standard Version
I know there are times I don’t ask boldly enough, and definitely not often enough with this scripture in mind. Can you think of a time when you’ve been shamelessly audacious in your prayers? What was the result?