I have so much to say about asking and receiving, I think it would be impossible to put it all in one place. I want to encourage you to make a lifestyle out of asking God for anything you need or want. He loves to give, especially to his children, and it honors him when you make your requests. The scripture says, “It is more blessed to give, than to receive.” God must always take the place of the more blessed one. God does not give as we humans give. He has no limits and no bounds and does not give despitefully. For, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” God is a cheerful giver. When asking God for things, we must remember why he gives. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). God gives to love you and to honor his son and the price he paid for you to be rich.
Under the Old Covenant, we were required to do good in order to receive. Now we receive blessings and favor because Jesus was willing to earn God’s blessings for us. For when our sins and curse were imparted to him, his righteousness and blessings were imparted to us.
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:13-14).
Therefore God gives as an act of ‘unmerited favor’, not based on your merits. That’s why James 1:5 says “God, who gives generously to all without finding fault”. Scripture also says,
“how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
You have heard it written that God blesses the righteous and hears their prayers (1 Peter 3:12). James 5:16 also says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Proverbs 15:29 “The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.” We who have accepted the credibility of Christ’s work for us have this righteousness as a free gift so that we qualify for his blessings.
Romans 1:17 says, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Later he says, “21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3).
“However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:5).
“David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works” (Romans 4:6).
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).”God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (Philippians 3:9).
Because of this righteousness through Christ, God now hears our prayers and blesses us. So when we ask, we don’t come before him listing our own merits as if we are to convince him to bless us because of how many good things we’ve done. But, we ask in the name of Jesus, on the basis of Jesus’s merits, work, and grace. Here I have listed some verses about asking:
I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be complete” (John 16:23-24).
“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? (Luke 11:10-11)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”
(Philippians 4:19 NIV).
“but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14).
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16).
“In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23).
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5-6).
“For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough” (Matthew 13:12).
He replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
“You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).
“you fill me with joy in you presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15). What qualifies as God’s will? I think it safe to say that if it makes God look good, He’s pleased to give it.
“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God  and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him” (1 John 3:21-22).
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). What does it mean to remain in him? Jesus is talking to fellow Jews right before his crucifixion. He is calling them from under the old convenant into the new covenant with him. The Jews were God’s people and sons of God under the old covenant and Jesus is asking them to remain his children by following him into the new covenant. Because under the new covenant, being a Jew and obeying the law is no longer what makes you a son, but rather accepting Jesus’s sacrifice is the qualifier of sonship. Therefore, Jesus is asking them continue to be his children by qualifying under the new covenant.
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:21).
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19-20).
“I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, “You are my Son [a] ;
today I have become your Father. [b]
Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession” (Psalm 2:7-8).
“The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it” (Prov 10:22).
“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145:19).
“O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear” (Psalm 10:17).
“What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted” (Proverbs 11:23).
“You have given him his heart’s desire, And You have not withheld the request of his lips” (Psalm 21:2).
“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (Isaiah 65:24).
“Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord” (Psalm 139:4).
“Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them” (Psalm 10:17).
“What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers, and to you all people will come. …5 You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior” (Psalm 65:1-2, 5).
“Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; hear my urgent cry. I will call to you whenever trouble strikes,
and you will answer me” (Psalm 86:6-7).
“Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope” (Ephesians 3:20).
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:8,10-11).
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
What’s amazing about these verses is that they are not just words on a page, but truth that can be experienced in your personal life. I have countless stories of asking and receiving small and grand things. It was God himself who originally taught me to ask him for things and he answered hundreds of my prayers. Once, I was walking in a piano store and remembered that God wanted me to ask him for things. So I asked him for a Yamaha 7 foot grand piano with midi registration (a feature that costs $2,000). Two years later, a family calls us and asks if we could store their grand piano in our house. We now have a 5.2 foot Yamaha grand piano with midi-registration with us. When we first got it, it was originally placed in my room which was too small for a 7 foot piano. So, I understand why it was 5.2 rather than 7.
Another time, I asked God for new keyboard sounds through virtual instruments. A few days later, a man at church said he was upgrading to Pro-Tools and wanted to give me Logic Pro (his old software) since he no longer needed it. It came with hundreds of free keyboard sounds. Then I asked God for a car. A year later, my uncle and aunt said they wanted to give our family their mini-van. My parents gave it to me. When I was in college, I had no money for a new cell phone but I wanted a really nice smart phone. I asked God and two weeks later I received a free smart phone with the specific features I had asked God for.
On several occasions I have asked God to eat out at restaurants and soon afterwards had people say they wanted to take me to a restaurant and pay for me. I once asked him for studio foam and a new firebox, which usually costs a few hundred dollars. A couple months later, my grandfather called and asked if I wanted any of his old studio equipment. He gave me a couple hundred dollars worth of studio foam and a firebox for free. Another time I was sitting at a restaurant with my family and asked God to pay for the meal after hearing my parents worry about the cost. The Lord told me he would do it. At the end of the meal, our waiter came out and said that the manager wanted to pay for all of our meals. The list goes on and on. One time I was asking God for a particular microphone. Two days later, my brother found that microphone sitting in a cabinet in our garage. I was amazed but was hoping for a brand-new microphone instead of one that may be damaged. A year later, my friend asked to borrow it. He accidentally broke it and bought us a brand new one.
One time, I was in the restroom after a wednesday night youth conference. I was thinking about how I wanted to be on film and have opportunities to act and be in front of a camera. I asked God while I was in the restroom for opportunities to do so. When I walked out of the restroom a film crew from LifeWay was standing in the hallway. I was the only one nearby, so they asked me if they could interview me for a film they were making. I said yes and was interviewed on camera for the next few minutes. LifeWay was not even supposed to be in our youth building. They said they were driving past our building and randomly decided to stop by. We have rarely had film crews in our youth building, so that was quite a coincidence.
With all the things I was asking God for, I began to feel guilty as if I was asking for too much. When I addressed the Lord about it he said, “He who asks for much shall be given much. But, he who asks for little shall be given little.” Therefore I became even more eager to ‘make my requests known to God.’ Don’t grow discouraged if it seems God is ignoring your prayers. Just don’t feel ashamed about asking him for the things you desire. Even if that means being so bold as to ask him to answer quickly. He always answers even if it takes time. Remember my piano and car story? The piano took 2 years, the car took 1 year. During that time I highly doubted God could or would give me a several thousand dollar piano or free car. After all, what had I done to deserve it? But, now I have that piano with me and I enjoy it daily. Even though some prayers may take some time to answer, don’t give up in believing God will answer your prayer. But, not all prayers take a while to answer. Remember my other stories? Keyboard sounds in a couple days, studio stuff in a couple months, new cell phone in a couple of weeks, a camera opportunity in a couple minutes, etc… The scripture says, “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (Isaiah 65:24).
Generally what will happen is this. A man will say a prayer to God and doubt in his heart that God would ever consider his prayer. Perhaps he believes his prayer is not “churchy” enough. Perhaps he is asking for a video game. Or perhaps he doesn’t feel like he’s done enough to deserve it. What will then happen is after some time has passed, the man is say in his heart, “I guess God isn’t going to answer my prayer, that’s what I knew would happen,” and stops looking for the answer and goes on with his life. A time after that, God will answer his prayer and give him the very thing he asked for. However, because the man was not paying attention he forgets that what was given to him was actually the result of his prayer. So he goes on believing God doesn’t answer his prayers. I find person after person in this situation that are assuming God isn’t answering their prayers and aren’t paying attention when he actually does. So their prayers are being answered, they are just not noticing it. That why I also pray that God would show me how He is answering my prayer. God isn’t ashamed of you if you don’t notice, but He does want you to believe He answers your prayers, even the non-churchy ones or the things you’ve asked for that you don’t deserve.
When we go through times where it seems God isn’t answering, we can continue to plant the seeds of our prayers so we receive an even larger harvest when its season arrives. A friend of mine went through a time when it seemed God wasn’t answering his prayers. He was discouraged and had almost given up on asking God for things. A few months later, the majority of his prayers were answered in an unexpected way and his discouragement left. God is faithful to his children.