Jesus was curious. Throughout the four biographies of Jesus in the Bible, He was asked 183 questions. How many do you think He answered directly? Four. He responded to the other 179 questions sometimes with a story, sometimes with an action, but most often with a question.
Jesus was the master of leading people with questions. In fact, Jesus Himself asked an astounding 307 questions. Why is it that Jesus, who knew the answers, spent so much time asking so many questions to people like you and me? Maybe questions are one of the main ways that God helps us to understand Him better. The following three questions are worth asking God in prayer to deepen your relationship with Him.
What Am I Looking For?
The opening question Jesus asked his first followers was not about God, sin, politics or family issues. The first question was about the followers themselves: “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38, NRSV).
By asking that question, Jesus wants to unearth something in us. We cannot answer that question without exploring our hearts, desires and souls with the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. Only after we have wrestled with that question can we even compare it to what Jesus teaches us is the best way to use our one and only life.
Is There Anything About Jesus and His Teachings That Offends Me?
Jesus’ disciples were complaining about one of his teachings (John 6:22-70). He asked them, “Does this offend you?” (v. 61). Sometimes God will use this question to highlight misunderstandings we hold of who God is and the nature of the gospel. Other times, it will highlight things that we value more than trusting God.
We need not only to ask what offends us, but also to follow up and question why it offends us. Working through that will lead to a deeper relationship with God and often help us to understand the lordship of Jesus in a more tangible, present way.
How Was God Present With Me Today?
One of the most repeated promises in Scripture is that God will be with His people. However, we can go through days, weeks or months without really reflecting on how God was present with us today. Our theology needs to make it into our autobiography.
It doesn’t help that, as leaders, we often live our lives at warp speed. Someone asks how our day went, and we have to think about what we actually did because we had so much happening. I am certain I am not alone in this.
Deep souls do not grow at warp speed. If we want to grow a deeper relationship with God, then we have to slow down and reflect. Try asking yourself at the end of each day, “How was God present with me today?”
There is certainly some precedent for believers standing in the very presence of Christ only to realize it by reflecting later (Luke 24:32). When we ask God that prayerful question on a regular basis, we will soon discover with God’s help that we can see how He is present in our lives in a more tangible way. He’s been there all along. We just need to slow down and ask for the eyes to see Him.
Questions alone do not have the power to deepen our relationship with God. However, they are often the way in which God invites us to discover some things about Him or ourselves that He will then use to move us into a deeper relationship with Him. A prayerfully curious and humble faith that is willing to dive into the answers one day at a time will, over time, become a deep faith that sustains us even in the most trying of times.
- Ask the Lord to show you how to listen.
- Pray that God would give you forgiveness.
- Pray for faith to be strong in difficult times, and thank Him for His presence.
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