I recently read that the Bible contains something like 3,294 questions. As a born question-asker myself, the idea intrigued me. So I decided to go on a lookout for questions in God's Word. Today, on Day One of my experiment, my regular Bible reading took me to Numbers 11, where Moses whines to God about the Israelites' whining. I was fascinated to see that his complaint mainly took the form of questions. Lots of them, in rapid-fire succession. In The Message version, there were seven. In other versions, they vary between five and seven. But whatever version you read, you will find Moses peppering God with questions. Here's his prayer:
Why are you treating
me this way? What did I ever do to you to deserve this? Did I conceive them?
Was I their mother? So why dump the responsibility of this people on me? Why tell me to carry them around like a
nursing mother, carry them all the way to the land you promised to their ancestors?
Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people who are whining to me,
“Give us meat; we want meat”? (MSG vss. 11-14)
Moses’ question-filled prayer started thinking about other
prayer-questions in the Bible. Without even using a concordance, I can think of
lots of examples: “How long, Lord?” “Should we go up against the enemy?” “Why
do the nations rage?” “Will you heal my daughter?”
I’m not going to research them all now—I think I just want
to enjoy them as they come up in my reading. But I’m already starting to
consider theories and ask myself questions. I’m wondering how many times I ask
God questions? And if I do, what kinds of questions to I ask? Are my questions
complaints like Moses’ (which apparently was okay with God, by the way)? Or are
they requests for information? Do I ask Him for wisdom? Or help? Or questions
about who He is or what He’s like or what is on His heart?
I’m also drawing a fairly obvious but challenging
conclusion: to ask a question is to invite an answer. It’s to invite
conversation and dialogue. So, I’m wondering, how will He respond to me? Do I
really expect Him to? What would happen if I asked God more questions than I do
Moses didn’t hesitate to ask, and God answered him. He
reassured him, promised him help, and told him what the next steps were. Moses
asked, God answered, as a man talks with his friend (Exodus 33:11). I want my
prayer life to be like that. What about you?