Asking = an art form; pray it

By Dave Henning / July 8, 2023

“Asking is an art form, isn’t it?  When done right, it involves thoughtful consideration.  My advice?  Pray it before you say it.  The right word at the wrong time won’t work.  Timing is critical and so is tone.”- Mark Batterson

“Please test us for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.”- Daniel 1:12 (NIV)

“Smile; it’s free therapy.”- Douglas Horton

In Chapter 3 (“Say It with a Smile”) of Please Sorry Thanks, Mark Batterson talks about a family mantra he and his wife used when the kids were young.  That mantra: Your face tells your body how to feel.  Furthermore, Pastor Batterson notes, between childhood and adulthood we lose 380 smiles per day.  So, Mark stresses, we need to get some of those smiles back!  Because that’s part of what it means to become like little children.

As the Old Testament book of Daniel opens, a bold ask provides the turning point.  And as Daniel 1:12 tells us, Daniel began his ask with the word please.  Hence, Daniels genealogy of success traces back to that simple please.  The ten-day fast set Daniel apart.  Thanks to please, he found favor.

In addition, Pastor Batterson observes, reading the room serves as one dimension of emotional intelligence.  However, reading the room involves more than just saying what needs to be said.  It also includes knowing when and how to say it.  Daniel 2:14 reports that Daniel spoke with ‘wisdom and tact.’  Also, the Hebrew word for tact means taste.  Consequently, Mark explains:

“Daniel exercised discernment and operated with diplomacy.  Tact is seeing past the presenting problem and identifying the root cause.  It’s understanding the ecosystem by connecting the dots.  Please must be spoken in a language that people can understand. . . .  Part of saying please is understanding the personality of the person you’re talking to. . . .  You’ve got to say please in a language they understand and appreciate.”

Today’s question: When do you pray about asking before you say it?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “”A carte blanche please?”

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Dave Henning

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