1 Kings 3:5
"God said, 'Ask what I shall give you.'"

If God were to say to you "Ask for whatever you want me to give you," what request would you make?

Interestingly, Jesus says something very similar in chapters 14, 15 and 16 of the Gospel of John. In this upper room discourse, Jesus is speaking to the eleven, Judas had left, but these statements are also directed at all believers. In John 17:20 Jesus prays, "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word."

In John 14:13-14, Jesus says twice "whatever you ask in my name I will do." My "old man" would think "Cool, Jesus just promised me anything I asked!" But I know that Jesus is speaking in the context of obedience. Because in verse 12, He says, "Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do" and in verse 15, He says, "If you love me, you will keep my commands." This promise of Jesus is bracketed by statements requiring my obedience.

In John 15:16, Jesus says, "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you." Wow, same promise! In this instance, Jesus is referring to those He chose and the purpose for which He chose them. Those whom Jesus chooses are to "bear fruit and that your fruit abides." So the things I ask of the Father which helps me be fruitful, He will gladly give. Because, according to John 15:8, "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples."

In John 16:23-26, Jesus, speaking to the eleven about their short-lived sorrow at His death, followed by a joy that cannot be taken from them, again addresses His and the Father's willingness to give them what they ask. "Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."

So the offer God made to Solomon extends in "kingdom ways" to you. For what will you ask?

Ephesians 1:15-23
From 1 Kings 3:5, we discussed what we would ask of God for ourselves. In these verses, we will learn what the Apostle Paul thought worthy of asking for us.

Following the most profound statement of what it means to be a saint (one who is faithful to Christ Jesus), Paul prays for those who are saints. In verse 16, Paul says he does not stop giving thanks for the saints and always remembers them in his prayers.

Notice to whom he prays, "God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory." The first thing Paul asks for you is spiritual wisdom and insight so you will mature in your knowledge of the God to whom he directs his prayer. Paul, also, prays for you to be enlightened to understand the confident hope you have because God has called you and blessed you as His inheritance. Lastly, he asks that you might understand the great power currently at work in you. This same power, which is at work in you, raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in honor at the Father's right hand.

Doesn't it seem that prayer would lead to joyful obedience as we bear lasting fruit for the glory of such a great God?

Lord God, glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we desire to glorify You and obey Your Son, who is our Lord, King, and Savior. Holy Spirit, thank You for recording prayers like Paul's. Please teach us to pray for kingdom qualities rather than earthy trinkets.