Learning to Ask for What We Need

This year, my husband and I will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. I feel fairly confident that I know my spouse better than anyone. I’m certain he would not only agree, but also say the same thing in return. We’ve been best friends, confidants and each other’s “person” for more than two decades. We know each other’s history, tendencies and preferences, and we’ve shared more time and experiences with one another than anyone else in our lives. And still…we don’t always predict each other perfectly.

Sometimes, we must ask for what we need.

This has been one of the hardest lessons for me in marriage. I want my husband to know me so well, that I don’t have to ask for anything. Perhaps, I’ve gotten this romantic notion from fairy tales or movies. I’ve often bought (and re-bought) the lie, that if he really loves me, I’ll never need to articulate my wants or needs. He’ll just magically know, because he’s so into me, he’ll know my every thought and desire. Ridiculous, right? I can hear every married person laughing out loud right now.

What I’ve learned and need to often remind myself is that there is nothing to be offended by, because even though we know each other well and are like-minded, we are still different people with differing strengths and ways of thinking. It’s actually a joy to understand that we aren’t alike in all the ways, and instead, we complement one another. We benefit each other. This is incredibly useful in many life situations, where we are truly better as a team! As well, I’ve learned there’s great benefit to asking and having conversation. It opens the door to deeper learning, and it especially helps build relationship. By not making assumptions about one another, we can instead benefit from helpful dialogue and better equip ourselves for more unity and togetherness.

Asking helps us celebrate our differences and grow closer in unity and appreciation for one another.

The same is true with God. He wants us to come to Him, acknowledging our need for Him and glorifying Him in our lives. And, He wants us to talk with Him, asking for what we need and listening for His voice in return. It’s how we build meaningful relationship with Him, versus being “religious” and viewing Him as an all-mighty, all-powerful but un-reachable God. That’s not who He is or wants to be in our lives. His desire isn’t for us to do all the tasks and follow all the rules, but rather, to have a personal relationship of dependence and dialogue.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).

Frankly, because God is who He is, He actually doesn’t even need to hear our specific requests. Unlike our spouses, God already knows our thoughts and desires before we even ask. And because He loves us so much, He gave believers the gift of the Holy Spirit, who speaks on our behalf even when we can’t put together our own words (Romans 8:26-27). We don’t need to ask God to make Him aware. We bring our requests to God to submit to His authority, depend on His provisions and share intimacy with our Father and Creator, who loves to lavish us as His children (1 John 3:1).

God delights in us and takes great pleasure in giving us good gifts (Matthew 7:11)! He is the author of every good and perfect thing there is, and He wants to provide all that we need. But even more than the provisions, it’s the process of asking that helps us develop a strong relationship with the Lord. What I mean by that isn’t the “vending machine” or “genie” mentality of ordering up what we want and having it delivered to us. Instead, it’s the process of growing closer to Him that comes from acknowledging His sovereignty and our desperate need for Him in our lives. It’s probably the single, most life-changing mind shift that can happen to strengthen our spiritual lives. Dependence.

It’s less about the end result or the “thing” we want, but much more about how we handle the the time in between. That’s when life is stressful – before we get the outcomes. It’s the leading up to them, the wondering, the striving…the worry. Oh, the worry! God tells us to ask for what we need, because He wants to be with us in the waiting…and He can free us from the heavy weight of worry!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

We don’t know all of life’s outcomes, but He does. We don’t always know what’s best for us, but He knows. We sometimes can’t fathom how to get from point A to point B, but He can lay the best path in front of us. There is peace in knowing who He is and how, in our weaknesses, we can firmly rely on Him. When we ask for His help, He draws us closer. We can sense Him more, listen more, and hear His voice more clearly. And the unity in Christ will bring confidence. Because we’re safe in Him, in the waiting and in the outcomes. Better than any fairy tale or romantic movie, God is real, He is relational and He’s waiting to be asked into our lives.

Father, God, I’m amazed by who You are – that You could be so powerful to create all things and keep them under Your command, and yet so tender and personal that You want a personal and loving relationship with Your children. We are not worthy, but that didn’t stop You. Instead, You sacrificed Your only Son, so we could share this intimate connection and come to You with our needs. We ask, and You provide…more than we could ever sufficiently thank You for. May our lives be a testament to Your glory and goodness and grace. Help us do it well, Lord. We ask You in faith, Amen.

One thought on “Learning to Ask for What We Need

  1. Congratulations! Conversation is key! At almost 43 years myself, my husband and I sometimes have to remind the other, that even after all these many years, we still have yet to learn to read the others mind.


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