God invites his children to present their needs and desires to him. “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples” (John 15:7-8 Amplified Version). Our father has no problem with blessing us and providing for us. And as we see from John 15:7-8, a true disciple of Christ will receive answers to their prayers. As we stay in God’s presence, and meditate on his word, our desires will naturally come into alignment with the will of our Lord, and our petitions will reflect the will and nature of God. An important point to remember when asking for God to bless us is that we should also ask God to give us the necessary foundation that we need in order to truly receive and benefit from this blessing.
If we cannot handle what we are asking God for, the Lord will delay granting our petition. A gift meant to be a blessing could actually be a curse if we do not have the necessary foundation needed to benefit from this gift. For example, if you desire a new home and ask God for $700,000 house this would be a tremendous gift. But if you are not financially able to maintain this home, this gift would be a curse. When the tax bill arrives, you would be devastated. And such a property would eventually require maintenance, the cost for even routine maintenance could be well beyond your resources. And if you are not good with financial stewardship, you would soon face financial ruin. When you present a prayer request to God, you need to consider a few things. For anything that you ask God for you should also seek the following: God’s wisdom on managing this gift, God’s resources for sustaining this gift, God’s power to fight against opposition to this gift, and God’s character in order to not abuse this gift.
“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him” (James 1:5 Complete Jewish Bible). Wisdom is the ability to understand and properly utilize knowledge. Just knowing facts does not mean that you have understanding. God wants us to be wise in all areas of life, and when we receive a blessing from the Lord, we should be able to manage this blessing with spiritual wisdom. “There is precious treasure and oil in the house of the wise [who prepare for the future], But a short-sighted and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it” (Proverbs 21:20 Amplified Version). Wisdom to handle what you are asking for should always be sought. Along with wisdom, many gifts from God require maintenance.
Ask God for the resources that you need to maintain what you are asking him for. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,” (Luke 14:28-29). This passage concerns being a disciple of Christ, but the principle can be applied to this topic. If you do not have the resources to maintain a gift from the Lord, that gift will be temporary and incomplete. Some petitions that we ask God for involve changes in status or expansion of territory.
Satan will always attempt to steal or corrupt your blessings; therefore, we need God’s power to keep and protect what he has given us. “I have given you the authority to trample snakes and scorpions and to destroy the enemy’s power. Nothing will hurt you” (Luke 10:19 God’s Word Translation). The word of God encourages us to consider our real treasure to be in heaven, but we should make reasonable efforts to protect our blessings that are here on earth. Along with resources, wisdom, and power, many of our prayer requests require a godly character in order to benefit from these gifts.
Character is crucially important to our receiving from God. Financial blessings can destroy a person who is filled with pride. A Christian who is in a relationship can drive a good believer away because of unkindness, insensitivity, or a bad temper. And a promotion on a job can cause a lot of pain because of a believer who is selfish and mean-spirited. Seek God’s wisdom in overcoming character flaws that would hinder your receiving your petition from him.
Consider the totality of what you are asking for, and seek to have the foundation needed to handle what you are asking from God. Hindrances and delays to answered prayer are often caused by our inability to receive our petitions. When we have the wisdom, power, resources, and character needed to properly embrace our desire, God will often be quick to answer our prayers and bring what is good into our lives.