A 60-year-old retired man named Gary from Phoenix, Arizona had a brilliant plan. He’d simply ask for all of his money back. On every dollar bill he spends, he writes a little note: “Please return this bill to me.” He writes his address in the spot below.

He began asking for his money back ten years ago. Since then, he’s started averaging getting back $2 a day. Some months, he’s received almost $100! All because he had the audacity to ask.

James said, “You do not have, because you do not ask.” (James 4:3)

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

Why don’t we ask God for the things we need? Here are my theories.

We don’t ask because we forget that he wants to take care of us. We sometimes get a false image of God that says that he expects us to make it totally on our own. (Go read the rest of Matthew 7!)

We don’t ask because we’re afraid of rejection—what does it mean if God says no? (James 4 tells us how to ask for the right sorts of things).

We don’t ask because we don’t know how to ask or even what to ask. It’s good to remember that God knows and understands—and intercedes for us when words are impossible (Romans 8).

Need to grow in faith and wisdom? Ask God!