Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. ~Isaiah 7:11-12
Asking is one of the most basic, essential aspects of life. Asking is always associated with a request for help or assistance. It is considered good etiquette and manners to ask for authorization or permission to borrow, use, or access for entry. We teach our children to ask and not demand when they need something. This morning, we are looking at a passage of scripture where someone was encouraged to ask, and he said no. This morning, we are looking at the problem of the sin of prayerlessness.
We see the basic RESPONSIBILITY.
God sent Isaiah the prophet to King Ahaz to encourage him to ask the Lord to show him a sign that He would intervene for him. In essence, God was saying, “I want to help you, and to demonstrate this, ask Me to give you a sign.” Prayer is simply asking God for help. Jesus explained prayer as, “Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Prayer is an essential for successful Christian living and fruitfulness. Jesus said in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall what you will do and it shall be done unto you.” God was exhorting Ahaz, “Ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.”
We see the blatant REFUSAL.
“But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.” Ahaz said “I will not ask.” Ahaz was given the unlimited resources of Heaven and he said he would not ask, or stretch the limits with God. Ahaz committed the sin of prayerlessness. He refused God’s help and intervention. He refused God’s power to work on his behalf. James said, “Ye have not because ye ask not.” It’s amazing that heathen pray, hypocrites pray, and even lost souls in Hell pray, and yet, God’s people will not pray. We don’t pray because we don’t have time. We don’t pray because we don’t feel we have a need. We don’t pray because basically we are not interested in God’s help unless it is urgent, critical, or self-promoting.
We see the bitter REGRET.
As we read the remainder of Isaiah 7 and II Chron. 28 regarding Ahaz’s life, he experienced defeat, setbacks, and repeated failure. He gave away the wealth of the temple. The kingdom of Judah became captive to its enemies. Because of his refusal to pray, nothing went right for him or the kingdom. When we leave God out of our lives, we are leaving the blessings out of our life. I think there are many people of all walks of life who are living in bitter regret because they waited too long before they prayed; or worse, they did not pray at all.
We see a burning REVIVAL.
We need a revival of prayer in our lives. We need a burning desire to permeate our souls that will drive us back to our knees and seek the God of Heaven. If we do not feel a need to pray, it is critical that we pray. We need a return to holy praying. Praying is God’s means for us to claim the spiritual inheritance waiting for us. We must come to grips with the invitation found in Heb. 4:16, “Let us therefore, come boldly before the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
All you have to do is ask! “If ye ask anything in my name, that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Let’s get the business of asking God for help, to move mountains, for souls to be saved, and for His permission in our lives.
Have a prayer-saturated God Morning!