“But now let us apply this passage to ourselves as individuals: “You have not, because you ask not.” I wonder whether there is a brother here, who has been working and toiling, and struggling for years after a certain thing which seems farther off than ever; and does the reason of his failure lie in the fact that he has never prayed about it? Do you wonder, dear brother, that you have not when you do not ask? With one hundredth part of your present trouble, you may obtain the desired blessing if you seek it at the Lord’s hands. I mean, even with temporary things, it is our duty to work for our daily bread, and to earn what is necessary for this life; but do remember that everything about a Christian should be a matter of prayer, because everything about a child that ought to be the child’s business is his Father’s business.If a child might have a perfect father, that father would be interested to hear about the child’s play as well as about the child’s suffering. He would take an interest in his boy’s lesson-books at school, and cheer him in reference to the little trials of his playtime, for that which may be very little to a stranger, may be great to a father who measures things by his love to his child. Though a matter might be little to the father, considering him as a man alone, yet since it is great to the child, and the father puts himself into the child’s place, his sympathy makes insignificance important.
I have heard of a great king who was one day waited upon by an ambassador, who found him upon all-fours upon the floor, making himself into a horse for his little son. He said to the ambassador, “Sir, are you a father?” “Yes, your majesty, I am,” replied the ambassador. “Then,” said the king, “I will finish my game with my boy, for you will understand me.” So he went on round and round the room till the little one had enjoyed his full share of romp, and then his majesty turned to the ambassador, and said, “Now I am ready to attend to the affairs of state.”
I honour the king for thus showing that he was a man who had a father’s heart. So our Heavenly Father takes an interest in even the unimportant things which concern His children…; and therefore you need never fear to tell everything to your God. Little things are often more troublesome than great things. If a tiny splinter of wood gets into your finger, it may be more serious than a heavy blow, and even so a minor sorrow may work us grievous ill.Take your daily troubles, wants, longings, aspirations, and endeavours to the Lord; for if they are such as are right and true, they should be laid at His feet. “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Do you not think that many desires of your heart and many domestic troubles may continue—the desires to be unfulfilled, and the troubles to be unremoved,—because they have not been made the subject of prayer? “You have not, because you ask not.” May not that be the case with many a merchant, student, mother, or worker? Success in life, comfort, employment, health, friends may, in some cases, be found by asking, and missed by neglect of prayer.” – Charles Spurgeon (language slightly modernized)
Here is a fourth meditation on prayer by Charles Spurgeon, based on James 4:2 – ‘You Have Not, Because You Ask Not.’ Especially, allow me to urge you to read – and meditate upon – the section of Spurgeon’s address here that concerns the king and his child. Understanding this metaphor will allow us to better understand God’s heart towards hearing prayers from His children: