- Before reading these chapters, I hadn't viewed James' words about asking as two extremes or "cliffs" as he called them. More and more I see that it is easier for me to go to an extreme (in many areas) rather than finding a middle position that incorporates both truths. On this particular subject, I find my tendency is to not ask because it may be selfish or I don't want to be let down by a "no" to my prayers.
- It was convicting to read "our failure or reluctance to ask keeps us distant from God." (Pg. 134, Loc. 1722)
- "Deep down, we just don't believe God is as generous as he keeps saying he is." (Pg. 134, Loc. 1731) Why is that? Why can we so readily accept some truths we read in Scripture, but we can balk at/dismiss others? May my perspective of God's generousness come from what He has said and not from what I think I have experienced!
- They highlighted this in the book, but I think it deserves to be noted again: " 'Asking in Jesus' name' isn't another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect." (Pg. 135, Loc. 1740)
- I appreciated his encouragement to ask God heart questions when asking Him for material things. (Pg. 142, Loc. 1825)
- It was surprising to me to read "We need to ask the body of Christ, Jesus' physical presence on earth, the same questions we ask God." (Pg. 143, Loc. 1833) On one hand, I see the practical value of involving others. I have seen that just trying to explain something clearly to another helps me work through things in my own mind. Also, as the author pointed out, my heart can be so deceitful that I can pray and then manipulate things so they seem to be the answer I wanted. On the other hand, I wonder how far he would extend this. I was left wondering when to include others and ask them the questions, and when to simply address them to God.
I've had my say, what say you?