The Spirit Filled Believer
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"You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2 NKJ).

I learned to appreciate the full extent of this verse as a result of a personal experience earlier in my life.

Preparing for a career in nationwide evangelism, I felt the need of acquiring a trombone and learning to play it as the musical portion of my planned evangelistic services. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced I needed a trombone.

My faith was too weak to ask the Lord for such a mundane thing as a musical instrument. In this sense, my thinking was typically immature. "What if I ask for a horn and the Lord doesn't give me one?" I asked myself. "I wouldn't want to embarrass the Lord by asking Him to do something that might not be His will. After all. He knows where I live and what I need, "

I rationalized fatalistically, "So if He wants me to have a trombone. He can send it to me." As a result of my fuzzy thinking, my prayers were vague, general and ambiguous. It soon became evident, however, that they weren't producing anything.

In His usual merciful way of dealing with His children, the Lord led me to this verse: "...you do not have because you do not ask."

He showed me how pathetic, anemic, and unscriptural my prayers were. I learned that weak faith produces weak prayers.

The Lord dealt with me about asking specifically for a trombone: "If you want a trombone, ask for it, and I will give it to you." I did, and He did! From that experience, I learned a valuable lesson about praying. I learned to change my prayers from general, vapory wishes to specific, concrete requests.

Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer's Daily Devotional by Dick Mills
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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