Achsah's Asking a Pattern of Prayer
Judges 1:12-15
And Caleb said, He that smites Kirjathsepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.…


1. She naturally wished that her husband should find in that estate all that was convenient and all that might be profitable; and looking it all over, she saw what was wanted. Before you pray, know what you are needing. "Oh!" says somebody, "I utter some good words." Does God want your words? Think what you are going to ask before you begin to pray, and then pray like business men.

2. This woman, before she went to her father with her petition, asked her husband's help. When she came to her husband "she moved him to ask of her father a field." It is often a great help in prayer for two of you to agree touching the thing that concerns Christ's kingdom. A cordon of praying souls around the throne of grace will be sure to prevail.

3. Achsah bethought herself of this one thing, that she was going to present her request to her father. I suppose that she would not have gone to ask of anybody else; but she said to herself, "Come, Achsah, Caleb is your father. The boon I am going to ask is not of a stranger, who does not know me, but of a father, in whose care I have been ever since I was born." This thought ought to help us in prayer, and it will help us when we remember that we do not go to ask of an enemy, nor to plead with a stranger; but we say, "Our Father, which art in heaven."

4. She went humbly, yet eagerly. If others will not pray with you, go alone; and when you go, go very reverently. Thou art on earth, and God is in heaven; multiply not thy words as though thou wert talking to thine equal.

II. HER ENCOURAGEMENT. "Caleb said unto her, what wilt thou?"

1. You should know what you want. Could some Christians, if God were to say to them, "What wilt thou?" answer Him? Do you not think that we get into such an indistinct, indiscriminate kind of a way of praying that we do not quite know what we do really want? If it is so with you, do not expect to be heard till you know what you want.

2. Ask for it. God's way of giving is through our asking. I suppose that He does that in order that He may give twice over, for a prayer is itself a blessing as well as the answer to prayer. Perhaps it sometimes does us as much good to pray for a blessing as to get the blessing.


1. A good beginning: "Give me a blessing." Why, if the Lord shall hear that prayer from everybody in this place, what a blessed company we shall be; and we shall go our way to be a blessing to this City of London beyond what we have ever been before!

2. Notice next, how she mingled gratitude with her petition: "Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land." Go back in grateful praise to God for what He has done for thee in days gone by, and then get a spring for thy leap for a future blessing or a present blessing. Mingle gratitude with all thy prayers.

3. There was not only gratitude in this woman's prayer, but she used former gifts as a plea for more: "Thou hast given me a south land; give me also," etc. Oh, yes, that is a grand argument with God: "Thou hast given me; therefore give me some more." Every blessing given contains the eggs of other blessing within it. Thou must take the blessing, and find the hidden eggs, and let them be hatched by thine earnestness, and there shall be a whole brood of blessings springing out of a single blessing. See thou to that.

4. But this woman used this plea in a particular way: she said, "Thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water." When you ask of God, ask distinctly: "Give me springs of water." You may say, "Give me my daily bread." You may cry, "Give me a sense of pardoned sin." You may distinctly ask for anything which God has promised to give.


1. Her father gave her what she asked. And God gives us what we ask for when it is wise to do so. But sometimes we make mistakes.

2. He gave her in large measure. The Lord "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." Some use that passage in prayer, and misquote it, "above what we can ask or even think." That is not in the Bible, because you can ask or even think anything you like; but it is "above all that we ask or think." Our asking or our thinking falls short; but God's giving never does.

3. He gave her this without a word of upbraiding. Now, may the Lord grant unto us to ask of Him in wisdom, and may He not have to upbraid us, but give us all manner of blessings both of the upper and the 'nether springs, both of heaven and earth, both of eternity and time, and give them freely, and not say even a single word by way of upbraiding us!

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.

WEB: Caleb said, "He who strikes Kiriath Sepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife."

The Public Spirit of Caleb
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