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What is the One Thing You Ask?

If someone were to stop you right now and ask “What is the one thing you ask?”, what would you say? What is it that you want? Do you want a sense of order in the midst of what feels like chaos? Do you want wisdom or courage? Do you ask for healing or strength? Do you ask for peace or purpose? Do you ask for a friend or a sense of community? Maybe you are asking for a break? What is the one thing you ask?

We can ask God anything in prayer. Throughout the Bible, you find all kinds of prayers. Moses prays for deliverance. Hannah prays for a son. Jabez prays for strength. Daniel prays for forgiveness. Lepers pray for healing. Paul prays for people to grow in the fullness of God.

In the Psalms, we find many of David’s prayers. There is one in particular where he tells us what is most important to him: “One thing have I asked of the Lord…that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.” (Ps 27:4)

As I looked more closely at what David was saying, it became more profound. David was not away on holiday looking at a beautiful view when he talked about gazing at the beauty of the Lord. He was not looking out at the horizon as the sun was setting. He was not in the presence of angels or a heavenly vision. He tells us that his enemies are surrounding him. David talks about gazing at the beauty of God in times of trouble when he is under threat.

He shows us that beauty is there, no matter what our circumstances. Albert Edward Day explained it this way, “What makes life splendid is the constant awareness of God. What transforms the spirit into his likeness is intimate fellowship with Him…conscious communion with his greatness, love, and holiness.” The beautiful truth about God is that He comes to live at the heart of people's lives with us.

For David, to gaze at the beauty of the Lord seems to move beyond what the eye can see. He wants to keep a steady focus on someone - God. David wants to gaze at the delightfulness of God. David wants to experience God's goodness and enjoy God.

Maybe whatever you most want can be found in someone.


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