3 crucial questions to ask God every day
Do our prayers feel repetitive and dry? Does our relationship with God feel distant and cold? Perhaps it is because we haven’t been asking God the right questions as we pray. God does not show favouritism. If He answered people such as Moses, King Solomon, Jabez, Hannah, and Hagar, then He will answer us too. Here are some questions that will change the way we walk with God.
Romans 2:11 NIV For God does not show favoritism.
The Bible encourages us to ask God. There are, however, right and wrong ways to do so.
Luke 11:9-10 NIV “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.
Before we go before the Highest Authority in this universe, we first need to keep in mind that it is God who decides whether He responds to and not. Just because we can ask Him for anything, it doesn’t mean He must answer us. God’s Word shows us that He will not respond to our prayers if we ask with:
- Doubt and unbelief in God | James 1:6-8 ESV But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
- Selfish, self-centred motives | James 4:3 ESV You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
- Not taking God’s Word seriously to heart | John 15:7-8 NLT But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
- A refusal to obey His instructions | Proverbs 28:9 NIV If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.
- Un-repented sin in our hearts | Psalm 66:18 ESV If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
Our prayers do not have to be long or convoluted. Neither should they sound like grocery lists, He is not a vending machine. God knows what we need before we even ask Him. God does hear all our prayers and He is fully capable of answering our calls for help. He keeps His promises and is faithful even when we are faithless. Asking God for anything is a way of getting to know Him and His will better. It is meant to be a two-way conversation.
Matthew 6:8 ESV Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Isaiah 59:1 NLT Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.
Numbers 23:19 NLT God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
2 Timothy 2:13 ESV if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
God may respond in different ways
We can talk with God at any moment in our day and He will respond. We simply need to be open to whichever way God chooses to do so, and when.
Psalm 25:8-10 NLT The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
For example, He may choose to alter our circumstances, bring people to speak to us, or He may talk directly back to us Himself – either as a soft voice in our spirits, in visions, or even in our sleep.
God answered when Solomon asked wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-14), God sent rain in response to Elijah’s prayer (1 Kings 18:41-45), and Jesus healed a centurion’s servant in response to his plea (Matthew 8:5-13).
God sent Moses in response to the people’s cries for deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 3:6-8), God sent the angel Gabriel to respond to Daniel’s questions (Daniel 9:21-13, 10:11-13), God sent Ananias to pray for Paul (Acts 9:17).
God appeared to and spoke with Abraham (Genesis 15:1), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:26, 10:1), Stephen (Acts 7:55), and Paul (Acts 9:3-6) in visions.
God spoke to Abimelech (Genesis 20:3), Laban (Genesis 31:24), and Jacob (Genesis 46:2) directly in their dreams.
These are just a handful of examples. There are numerous examples in the Bible of how God responds to our prayers.
First, ask for the Holy Spirit
As mere human beings, we don’t always know what God wants us to pray for. We need Him to show us the way. The Bible shows us that it is the Holy Spirit who will keep us “in harmony with God’s own will.”
Romans 8:26-29 NLT And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
To receive the Holy Spirit, we first need to turn away from our sinful nature, place our faith in Jesus Christ and ask Him to become our Lord and Saviour, be water-baptised and ask for the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 ESV And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 11:13 ESV If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Once we have been filled with the Holy Spirit, we can practice asking Him questions every day. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate who will teach us everything we need to know.
John 14:26 NLT But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
The daily practice of asking God questions
Here are some questions we ought to be asking the Holy Spirit every day.
1. “Is there anything in my heart that grieves or offends You?”
An un-repentant sinful attitude separates us from God so that He will not listen to our prayers or respond. God will consider our attitudes and will respond to those who seek Him with all our hearts. He is not swayed by our words, nor can He be bribed.
Isaiah 59:1-2 ESV Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Jeremiah 29:13 ESV You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Deuteronomy 10:17 ESV For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.
Humanly speaking, we do not have the ability to judge if our hearts are not right before God. We all have a tendency to rationalise our own sinful intentions and brush aside uncomfortable truths. We need the Holy Spirit’s help to search our hearts and show us if we harbour anything that grieves or angers God so that we can repent and be made right before God.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Let us, therefore, first “clear the slate” and “clear the air,” so to speak, by humbling ourselves before God to ask if and how we have grieved, offended, or outraged Him. When we “seek His face and turn from our wicked ways”, He will hear our prayers. Conversely, God does not listen to sinners.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
John 9:31 ESV We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.
Therefore, the first question we ought to ask is:
“Is there anything in my heart that grieves or offends You?”
2. “What is Your will?”
Too many times, we go to God with our own agenda. Our desires, fears, and worldly concerns take centre stage. There is a very real temptation to ask God only for what we want, and not what He wants for us.
As a good and perfect Father, God will graciously listen to whatever is on His children’s hearts, comfort us, and counsel us on the best way forward. At the same time, we need to be careful to not allow the things of this world to overshadow God’s ultimate will for us. We are warned that “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” Therefore, we need to choose “not to be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
1 John 2:17 NIV The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
It is those who ask God according to His will who will have their prayers answered.
1 John 5:14-15 ESV And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
Therefore, let us next ask:
“Are my plans according to Your will?”
It takes practice to learn how to discern His will. For one, it requires a sound understanding of God’s Word so we are aware of what He has already made known to us. We gain this by studying the Bible for ourselves.
Secondly, it requires us to take time to still our hearts so that we can listen to the Holy Spirit clearly.
It might also help to begin this journey by asking God questions that lead to yes or no answers. It is much easier to perceive a simple yes or no, versus hearing Him explain a full-blown plan.
And if we are unsure whether we have received His instructions correctly, we should not be afraid to ask God to re-confirm. We see that men of faith such as Moses (Exodus 3:11-4:14) and Gideon (Judges 6:33-40) did not hesitate to ask God for His assurances. This, however, is different from testing God or procrastinating obeying Him. Humbly asking God for confirmation comes out of reverence for His will.
Matthew 21:28-31 ESV “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”….
It is not unusual for our fleshly nature to struggle to obey God’s will at times. Thankfully, we can ask the Holy Spirit for help so that we may receive the wisdom and power to “put to death the deeds of our sinful nature.”
Romans 8:11-13 NLT The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
Here are some examples of questions we can ask the Holy Spirit:
- If we struggle with fear to trust God: “Holy Spirit, where is my fear from? Which area of my heart has yet to be renewed in Christ? What do I need to confess, heal from, or learn to overcome, so that I may be strengthened to stay loyal to Your will? | 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
- If we suffer from pain and persecution: “Holy Spirit, how do I need to renew my mind about my current situation so that I can endure? Please help me to tand firm and stay loyal to Your will.” | Hebrews 10:36 NLT Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
- If we feel ill-equipped to fulfill His will: “Holy Spirit, please show me what I need to be equipped with and lead me on the way forward.” | Hebrews 13:20-21 NLT Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
We can be confident that God will answer such questions as we seek to honour His will.
1 John 5:14 ESV And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
3. “Can You please give me the wisdom I need for today?”
To ensure that we do not veer off the path that God has laid out for us, we need His guidance on a daily basis. A small deviation of just five degrees at first can lead us completely off track eventually. This is why we need the Lord to establish our steps because the path to eternity with God is a narrow one.
Psalm 37:23 ESV The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way;
Matthew 7:13-14 NIV “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Praise God that He invites us to tap into His ultimate wisdom for the best way forward. He will “instruct us and teach us in the way we should go” and surround us with His steadfast love when we trust and follow Him.
James 1:5 ESV If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Psalm 32:8-10 ESV I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
Therefore, let us remember to ask:
“Will You please give me the wisdom I need for today and lead all my steps according to Your will?”
Romans 12:1 ESV I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
As we walk with God this way, we will find that the Holy Spirit will inspire our hearts and minds as He leads us on God’s chosen path for us, teaches us spiritual truths, protects us from danger, convicts us of our sins, comforts us when we need reassurance, and so forth. He will ensure that we remain in God for the rest of our lives.
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 NLT And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
John 16:8 NLT And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.
John 15:5-7 NIV “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
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