Prayer - Asking vs Thanking


Prayer - Asking vs Thanking
Print the one-page PDF

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7)

Devote yourselves to prayer and stay alert in it with thanksgiving! (Colossians 4:2)

Asking God when we do not know His will
Often we do not receive what we ask God for, because we ask with wrong motives or for things that are not in His will (James 4:3). And even if our motive is pure, we often do not know His will. We can be sure, though, that He is a gentle Father Who cares about our feelings and desires. He wants us to pour out our hearts before Him (Psalm 62:8) and to ask even though we may be unclear about His will! (Matthew 7:7) Also, Scripture teaches that our prayers move Him and can change the direction of events.

Asking God when we do know His will
We can know our prayer is His will when we pray according to His Word (His desire). We can be confident that He will answer in His time and His way. Our asking can turn to thanking! I have been invigorated by thanking Him, because He already told me His will in His Word. Here are two examples:

  • If I ask God to lift the widow’s heart from her grief, I can thank Him that He is working in her life.
    Thank You, Lord, for comforting Beverly. Help her to hear your tender voice. (Psalm 34:18)

  • If I ask God to free or save someone, I know this is His will. I can thank Him that He is moving and giving the person the opportunity to respond. I pray:
    Thank You, Lord, for setting the prisoners free. (Psalm 146:7)
    Thank You for drawing this person to Yourself. (John 6:44)
    Thank You for helping the helpless. (Romans 5:6)
    Thank You for opening the eyes of the blind when they turn to You. (2 Corinthians 3:14-16; 4:4)

Thanking God rather than asking because He has already answered
I have noticed that people often ask for things that God has already given and that He will never take away. The list is long, but here are two examples.

  • We never have to ask God to forgive us because He already forgave us when we received Jesus. Rather, we thank We are in Him, and His forgiveness covers our lives (Colossians 1:27). 1 John 1:9 instructs us to confess our sin (to agree with God about our sin), and then we thank Him for His forgiveness.

Although God’s forgiveness is not contingent upon our confession, when we fail to confess our sin, we mar our fellowship with Him and others. However, when we do sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ! (1 John 2:1-2) His forgiveness for us was accomplished on the cross forever.
Thank You, Lord, for forgiving me for _____________.

  • We never have to ask Him to not leave us. King David prays this way in his grief (Psalm 51:11), but in the New Covenant, once we are born again, our Father will never leave us. (Matthew 28:16-20; John 10:28)
    Thank You, Father, that You will always be with me. You will never leave me!

Shale Fragments™ - devotionals by Beth Ann Phifer is a division of Flower Girl Greetings, LLC. ©2020, All Rights Reserved.
Blessings and love in Him,
Beth Ann

HIS SIGWORK, Principle 5 of 10 - Insider Scoop
Lessons for Young Women, 2 of 3 - The Tea Party

Related Posts


Comments 1

Guest - Tara Rosenbloom on Thursday, 15 June 2023 15:08

So simple, so profound, so beautiful!!! God bless you Beth Ann!

So simple, so profound, so beautiful!!! God bless you Beth Ann!
Already Registered? Login Here
Tuesday, 23 July 2024

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

Welcome to Shale Fragments, a collection of writings and art for individual and group use!

Teaching God’s truth and the beauty of His Word is my greatest delight! My art card company, Flower Girl Greetings, was launched in 2012 with this purpose. In April 2020, became the gathering place for the writings.

As I have studied the rich meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew languages of the Bible, I continue to see beautiful progressions and connections that compel me to organize and convey their life-changing beauty! 

Please click on each category to access a list of contents or scroll through the posts. To receive Shale Fragments updates, please subscribe here.