Asking in prayer
Jesus said, “…if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you” (NRSV, John 16:23)
There are few people who do not pray in time of great trouble or danger, but how many are really convinced that this promise of Our Lord is true and that whatever they ask of God in his Name, they will actually be given it? Indeed, many believe that they have already proved for themselves that his promise was false.
After having given God no more than an occasional passing thought for years, they are faced by some threatened calamity which drives them to their knees and, as a last desperate resort, they demand that God should do this or that for them and waste no time in doing it. Then, when the blow falls, they conclude that prayer does not work and that it is a delusion to imagine that God, if he exists at all, pays any attention to their hopes and fears and pleadings.
And even in the hearts of loyal, believing Christians there arise from time to time doubts about the value and efficacy of prayer.