Asking lots of questions is a vital part of my prayer life. The disciples asked questions (LOTS of them!). If I need to know something, who better to ask than the One who knows all? Praying should never be a monologue (as though God is not an active participant in our lives) but praying is communication. And the very nature of communication is giving and receiving (which requires dialogue!).
Before I begin my Bible study time, I ask the Holy Spirit to open my heart and mind to understand what He wants to teach me that day, and then as I’m reading the Word, I ask plenty of questions.
Why did You record this?
What is the lesson You want me to receive here?
What is the point You want me to take away from this (story, chapter, parable, etc.)?
What did You mean here?
How do You want me to flesh out this truth today?
I don’t get an email response or a thunderous voice speaking from heaven when I ask these kinds of questions, but just because a reply doesn’t come in physical form, doesn’t mean I don’t receive an answer. Often when I ask questions, the Spirit will lead me to another passage that answers my question, or will impress a particular phrase or word in the text that gives me better understanding. Usually He leads me to look up the passage in a commentary or check out the words and meaning in the original language, or reminds me of something I’ve read in a particular book and I investigate that in researching answers to my question.
Sometimes I’ll think about a particular verse or passage for quite awhile, several days or weeks, with the question on my heart as I pray and think about it, waiting for a response. The Father has used other people, at times, to help answer a question, or an event will occur and that phrase or verse comes to mind, and I know He is using the event to instruct me and give me better understanding of what He is communicating in the passage I’ve been asking Him about.
For instance, right now, one passage that has been going over and over in my heart and mind is the last half of Romans 4, especially verse 20:
“No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God”
I’m asking God:
“What area of my life am I demonstrating a lack of trust in You?”
“Where am I wavering because of a lack of faith?”
“Was Abraham’s faith strengthened as a result of giving glory to God (the Greek literally reads: ‘was strengthened in faith, having given glory to God’)?”
“In what ways is my faith weak, and what is needed for my faith to be strengthened so I won’t waver?”
The questions are not just for information, but for the purpose of growth, understanding God’s will and direction (for the day, for my life, but also for this moment), and for the purpose of glorifying Him through obedience to what He reveals.
My questions aren’t limited to what I’m reading in the Word, but I think my questions are shaped and influenced by what I’ve already received from His Word and the history I have in personal relationship with Him.
What questions are you asking today?