Summary: Luke 11:9 doesn't say, “Ask for anything you want.” It’s more like, “Ask for my kingdom, and you will have it.”
Next week is See You At The Pole. See You At The Pole is an event where students nationwide gather together around the flagpole of their school and pray for their school, their classmates, the teachers, and their community. It’s a way to live out your faith -- to walk according to scripture in a very public way.
See You At The Pole was started in early 1990 by a small group of ten teenagers after attending a youth rally. After the rally, while they were driving back home to Texas, they all agreed that after the amazing experiences they had with God during the rally, they simply could not go back to how their life was before they left. Things could no longer be “normal”. In June of that year, they issued a challenge to other youth groups in their area to pray at their schools. By September of that same year, See You At The Pole was formed with more than 56,000 students praying at their schools. They agreed to start praying around their school’s flagpole every morning before class started, asking God to move in the lives of their friends, families, and teachers. The movement has since taken off, and is now celebrated in many countries all over the world.
See You At The Pole grew from ten teenagers to more than 56,000 in less than a year because they covered it in prayer. They took 1 Timothy 4:12 to heart -- “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” That’s exactly what they did -- they set an example. They set an example in speech by praying openly. They set an example in conduct by practicing what they preached -- they avoided hypocrisy as much as possible. In love -- their entire plan was based on love for their school, classmates, teachers, family, and community. They prayed for God to move in their lives! They had the faith to know that God would move, and prayed accordingly; and they showed purity in their motives -- they didn’t pray for great wealth or popularity or even to pass their classes -- they prayed for everyone else around them.
The group started with just ten teenagers and grew to thousands in less than a year. It quickly passed the million mark, and spread to other countries. This happened because they knew that individuals can make a difference -- so long as they pray about it first! They had the faith to know that if you pray for something, your prayer will be answered. After all, doesn’t the Bible mention that? Specifically, doesn’t Jesus mention that, in Luke?
Luke 11:9: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
This verse is commonly taken out of context -- on the surface, it certainly can seem like it means, “Pray, and your prayers will be answered with “yes”!” Isn’t that what Jesus is saying? “Ask and it will be given to you” -- what else could that mean?!