“You have not because you ask not.” James 4:2
If you grew up in a Christian context in Ireland, like me, it is more than likely that you were taught how to pray as a young child. The nature of the prayers you were taught was probably limited to asking God for protection and a good night’s sleep for you and your family. I was told to say my prayers every night before I went to bed, and when I actually did that, I usually repeated the same prayers as fast as possible before falling into bed and listening to the Radio Luxemburg (yes, I’m that old!).
As life went on, perhaps like me, prayer became something you turned to in an emergency, rather than something you developed as a daily routine. There are long periods of time when I’m sure God could quite likely have thought that I wasn’t speaking to Him!
In James 4:2, the author declares that ‘you have not because you ask not.’ I wonder how many things that God had in store for us that we did not receive because we did not ask? Could it be that God has so much more for each of our families, communities, towns, cities and nations but we have failed to ask? I wouldn’t want to make it to heaven and find out that I had missed out on the fullness of God’s blessing simply because I failed to ask.
I grew up in the Methodist Church. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, once said: “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” I truly believe that God is waiting for his sons and daughters to arise and pray believing prayers over Ireland. The Epistle of James 5:16 says ‘the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man avails much.’ I believe it!
Today I sense God is calling us to pray bold prayers; to raise our faith to believe Him for the impossible to happen in Ireland. To believe God for a revolution of His grace and mercy to flood across our land. For healing and restoration to flow from the North to the South and from the South to the North. For the Church of Jesus Christ to stand as one and declare that Ireland is united, not by politics or by sectarian violence, but by its people being united by the blood of Jesus!
Let’s pray bold, expectant prayers!
Father forgive us for the times when we have not been faithful in the place of prayer. Forgive us for seeing You as an emergency service rather than a loving Father and friend. We come to You now humbly to ask You for Ireland. We believe that nothing is too big for You, so we pray that the hearts of Your people will be revived and that we will see, in our day, a great revival sweep across our land, uniting the hearts of Your people through the blood of Your Son, releasing forgiveness, healing and restoration. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!