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Daily Devotional: The Light Shines | The Gospel of John | A red background with gold and white light bubbles. Daily Devotional: The Light Shines | The Gospel of John | A red background with gold and white light bubbles.

Questions and Answers | Requests to God

If God is all-knowing, why does He ask us questions? And why are we instructed to make known our requests to God (Phil. 4:6)?

Obviously, our omniscient God does not question us to be informed. He asks us questions for our benefit because He cares. For example, when Adam and Eve sinned, experienced shame, and hid themselves from God, the Lord, in order to lead them to confession and restoration, sought them by asking them questions (Gen. 3:9,11, 13). In order to bring self-righteous Job to repentance, the Lord asked Job over 60 questions (Job 38:1–41:13). When Jesus was training the twelve and ministering among people, one of His teaching strategies was the use of questions (Matt. 8:26; Luke 10:36). The Lord Jesus is the master of the question in the teaching, corrective, and redemptive moment. We should rejoice that we have a God who asks us questions for our own good.

Since God is omniscient, making our requests known to God is not for the purpose of informing God about something He does not know. He already knows what we need before we ask Him (Matt. 6:32). The point in Philippians 4:6 is that we have faced life as it is, identifying the source of worry and anxiety in our experience. As realists, we also have some idea of what concerns need to be addressed. We present these to God as requests, as specific ways in which we ask Him to intervene in our lives. Making known to God our requests, then, is an act of faith and an expression of our dependence on God. What requests have you made known to Him recently? What happened? What did God do? What lessons did you learn?

BY Dr. Winfred O. Neely

Dr. Winfred Neely is Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate School. An ordained minister, Winfred has served churches across the city of Chicago, the near west suburbs, and Senegal, West Africa. He is the author of How to Overcome Worry (Moody Publishers) and a contributor to the Moody Bible Commentary and Moody Handbook of Preaching. Winfred and his wife Stephne have been married for forty years and have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

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