God Is Waiting for Us to Ask

Yael Eckstein  |  August 9, 2023

Elderly woman clasping hands and looking up

During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. — Exodus 2:23–25

Prayer in Judaism is defined as “the work of the heart,” which profoundly changes the nature of prayer from one of entreating God to an act that transforms who we are—not what God does. These devotions focus on different facets of prayer and what lessons we can learn about the power of our prayers.

My one daughter is always trying to be “a good girl” and do the right thing. When she was younger, if she wanted a treat, she would ask for it in a round-about way, because she was concerned that I would say no.

For example, if she wanted a lollipop, she would hint, “Mommy, I’m in the mood for something, like maybe a circle on a stick.” I would act like I had no idea what she was talking about until she would simply ask for what she wanted. It often frustrated her, but it was an important lesson.

In the book of Exodus, we read that the children of Israel cried out to God in prayer because of their bitter enslavement. God heard their prayers and remembered His promise to their forefathers. We read that story, and on a certain level, we think, yes, God answers our prayers. Yet, there is something strange about this story.

God Is Waiting for Us to Ask

God already told Abraham that his descendants would be oppressed by the Egyptians and eventually be freed and prosper. So why did the children of Israel need to cry out to God to awaken His compassion? Furthermore, what does it mean that God “remembered” His promise? Did He somehow forget it? Doesn’t He see our suffering without us crying out?

God is our loving Father in heaven. Of course, He sees our suffering, and of course, He remembered His promise. All He wants is to shower us with blessings and see us happily enjoying our lollipops. God is simply waiting for us to ask for what we want. He is waiting for us to be connected to our deepest needs and to have the courage to turn to Him.

Prayer is the vehicle through which we draw down God’s blessings into the world. Once we open up the channel of prayer, the blessings will begin to flow.

Your Turn:

What is the thing that you want most in life? Turn to God and ask Him for it.