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A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"You do not have because you do not ask."
(James 4:2)

I can't explain it. It's just what God ordered. I follow the instructions and somehow it comes out all right.

Jesus' words tell us to abide in Him. For the longest time I neglected this crucial command from Jesus. I lacked quality time spent with Him. And then came the gentle early-in-the-morning reminder, "You have not because you ask not."

You have not
because you ask not.
You have been satisfied
with a little, yet
I have more to give you.
It is My joy
to give all I have.
Only ask, and it will be
yours as well.
For you have given
much of yourself
to honor Me.
I would therefore,
honor you as well.
So ask, My beloved.
Hold not back requests
because you think
you are unworthy.
I am the One
Who has made you worthy!

Constance Vanides
August 11, 2002

Not only did I need to repent, but also to follow through with action in His direction.

The mail arrived from a friend who sent me information about a prayer workshop she had attended. The key was to set aside time daily for praise, confession, supplication and thanksgiving. At first I scoffed at the thought of being so organized on a regular basis to devote to the presence of God, to also be quiet enough to hear what He was saying, and to take notes.

"Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." (James 4:8) Following the Apostle James' admonition, I began. As I said before, I can't explain the results of this time spent in conscious abiding. I am given certain new and old testament verses, confirmed by a psalm or a proverb, and a clearer mind to tackle chores for that day.

I am made more aware of relationships that come my way, especially with that of my husband. God bound the two of us together 54 years ago, making Tom even more precious to me today. The words of the Lord, through the Apostle Peter speak loudly, "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,..." (1 Peter 1:22) Our hearts are pure before Him, made worthy by the Lamb of God and we will walk with Him clothed in white! "...they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy." (Revelation 3:4)

Some keys to answered prayer are found in John 15:3,4,7

  • Receive the word, which makes you clean: "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you."
  • Abide in Him, and bring forth ripened fruit, like love and joy: "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."
  • In abiding, your desires are His desires for you: "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."

Though a specific prayer request seems to not be immediately answered, others are, and pleasant surprises as well. You might discover yourself how fellowshipping with Jesus by following His directives brings that closeness more to be desired than anything else!

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© Constance Vanides