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Read Introduction to James


“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him”


let him ask of God,

The word “ask” means to request, to plead for, to call for. It is a term of urgency, even to the point of demanding. The New Testament uses this word, especially for individual petitions with reference to the content. The suppliant petitions as one who is lesser in position.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

“You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:2-3).

“And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:15).


The exercise of prayer is a good indication of whether we depend on God or not.


The Christian who recognizes his or her inability to cope with the circumstances of life is the Christian who seeks God’s wisdom. Prayer does not inform God of something that He does not know, but it is an act of dependence on Him.

Our verse does not say, “If any person lacks wisdom, let him or her go to university.” Education gives knowledge, but it cannot impart wisdom in using knowledge. This wisdom can only come from God.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, God commands (imperative) us to ask as part of our prayer life because asking is dependence. This is no suggestion. There is no alternative to prayer. When we face trial and difficulty beyond our capacity to handle, we should cast ourselves at the feet of God to gain the wisdom we need to face the problem.