It is worth noting that most prayers in the Bible are “supplications”. They are “bothering God” for our needs.
I have seen a lot of trouble caused over to years by people who, “don’t want to be a bother.” (Including myself) We don’t ask for their needs to be met, but then feel hurt that others don’t just see and meet the need.
If the other person is a servant who loves to meet expressed needs, the joy of giving is often ruined if we do not ask for what we want.
What are some reasons that I am hesitant to ask? Why does God have to tell me over and over, ASK? Maybe I believe that letting the other know that their help is really appreciated, would put pressure on that person to have to do it again, and I don’t want to be a bother.
Isn’t it good to not bother others? No, it makes it hard for those caring for us to know what we do or do not want. Then when my unspoken needs are not met, it is easy to store up hurt and let it eventually explode. The other person realizes that they have been doing the irritating thing all along and not realizing it, or not doing the helpful thing and not realizing that it was needed. Now, all of a sudden it comes out. The giving person wonders what else they might be doing or not doing that will come out down the line. They find themselves walking on eggshells or just giving up on the relationship. Then the person who did not want to be a bother thinks, “See ,when I speak up for myself I just get abandoned.” However if they had asked for their needs all along the relationship would have been fine.
God says: “Ask and it shall be given unto you seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened unto you. Luke 11:9/Matthew 7:7 Jesus is willing to be a good example by knocking on our hearts door. Revelation 3:20 God told king Ahaz to ask for a sign. Ahaz refused because he did not want to “test” the Lord. But God had asked him to ask so not asking was disobedience. I must learn to please, bother the Lord with my needs and even ask others.
Not wanting to be a bother feels like a real humble thing but it is actually a judgement of the other person. It is to judge that they would find a request from you to be a bother. Presumably the need is not ridiculous so, if the other person were to be bothered it would mean that they are judgemental or uncaring.
The truth is that we are terrified that we might ask and be turned down and that would be a real blow to our sense of worth. It is a risk to “be a bother” but the risk is worth it. If the response is negative, then at least you have clarified that the relationship is unhealthy and that is worth knowing. If you don’t ask and the response would have been positive then you lose out on the opportunity to build relationship and bring meaning to the other person.
It has been my experience that most of the times that I ask others for help, they say no or just ignore me. I sometimes feel the Lord is like them, that he is too busy to be bothered with me and my needs. After all he is taken up with helping all the other more worthy people, that my needs would just be a bother and I should deal with them myself.. I know where this comes from, because as a child my earthly father was too busy as a missionary to meet my needs. My head knows that transferring this feeling to God is silly but I am working hard at becoming more of a “bother” to him and bringing all my situations to him and sharing the burden. So far he has never let me down.
There is also the worry that by sharing the need I might be judged as weak. I have personally experienced letting my boss know my strengths and weaknesses. I asked them to capitalize on my strengths and help me with my weakness, only to have them make fun of my weakness and ignore my strengths. It is still good to ask people for support but not to attach my sense of worth to the outcome.
There might also be a factor of wanting to feel abandoned or unsupported in order to justify feeling sorry for myself. I remember once as a child lamenting that no one loved me. My brothers started singing, “everybody hates me, nobody loves me I think I’ll just eat worms.” They made fun of my misery so I, rationally, concluded to just stuff it and deal with it alone. The Lord assures me that he will never leave me nor forsake me, that as it would be very hard for a woman to forget her sucking child, (and they may) still God will not forget me. Isaiah 49 15
“Dear Lord, the truth is, I need you every hour, without you I can do nothing! I even need your help to be aware of my need and to ask for help. So from now on I plan to be a real “bother” and bring everything to your loving attention. Love Verle”