Ask, Expect and Receive –  Encouragement for Today – June 7, 2023

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Hunter BelessJune 7, 2023

Ask, Expect and Receive 

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"This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15 (CSB) 

After years of him being stationed in many different places, my husband decided to leave the U.S. Army. Suddenly, our family was faced with a decision we had never made before: Where should we live?

Colorado, where we could hit the slopes all winter?
Vermont, where the trees don rainbow leaves in the fall?
Montana, where an outdoor paradise was waiting to be explored?

We prayed as we made the decision. The options felt endless! Arkansas was not at the top of our list; however, that's exactly where God provided my husband with his first civilian job. God's answer was different than we expected. At the time, His provision was hard to receive.

But in faith, we packed up and moved far away, where we would learn that God had answered our prayers even before we prayed them.

Because God moved us to Arkansas, we were close enough to be with my dad when he unexpectedly died of terminal cancer. Because God moved us to Arkansas, we were able to live next door to my best friend from high school, who supported me during my darkest days. God used many "because God moved us to Arkansas" moments to remind me that His answers are good even when they're different than I expect.

It reminds me of the story of a brown-eyed Irish girl who desperately wanted blue eyes. She prayed and prayed, asking God to change the color of her eyes, but each morning when she looked in the mirror, she found that her eyes were still brown.

Yet years later, God would use those brown eyes to break down barriers as she shared the gospel with thousands of children in India. Looking into their eyes that were just like hers, missionary Amy Carmichael realized that God had answered her childhood prayers exactly as He ought. She asked, and God provided, even if it wasn't what she expected.

But why should we spend time praying if God doesn't always answer the way we want? One reason we pray is because it strengthens our relationship with God and reveals to us God's heart. And another reason we ask in prayer is because Scripture tells us to and assures us God hears:

"This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15).

Even though God knows our requests before they leave our lips (Matthew 6:8), He wants us to present our desires to Him as an act of humility and trust. By asking, we're trusting that He is a good Father who gives us what we need. God might not answer our prayers the way we expect Him to, but He always answers our prayers the way He ought to.

Looking back on my prayers during our moving process, I can now see that God really did hear and answer my request. I think Amy would say the same about her prayers for blue eyes - that God always knows best. May His goodness give us the confidence to come before Him, ask according to His will, and receive His provision with humble hearts - even when it's not what we expect.

Father, help me to pray continually, drawing near to Your throne to receive mercy and find grace in my time of need. Enable me, by Your Spirit, to present all of my requests to You, knowing that You are my provider. Help me to receive Your provision with a humble heart. Thank You, Lord, for the greatest provision You have ever given me: the person of Your Son, Jesus. I pray these things in Jesus’ Name, Amen. 


For more inspiration from the woman whose prayers impacted the lives of thousands of children in India, check out Hunter Beless' new picture book, Amy Carmichael: The Brown-Eyed Girl Who Learned to Pray.


To learn more from Hunter, tune in to Journeywomen, a podcast designed to help you know and love God, find your hope in the gospel, and invest deeply in your local church as you go out on mission for the glory of God.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Amy Carmichael by Hunter Beless. To celebrate this book, Hunter's publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, June 12, 2023.}


Philippians 4:6, "Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (CSB).

Matthew 6:8, "Don't be like them [gentiles who pray empty prayers], because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him" (CSB).

How is God prompting you to pray, even now? Spend time presenting your requests to Him as an act of faith, and spend time thanking Him for the ways He has answered your prayers in the past.

© 2023 by Hunter Beless. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106