Asking is an art form, isn’t it? When done right, it involves thoughtful consideration. My advice? Pray it before you say it. The right word at the wrong time won’t work. Timing is critical, and so is tone. When I record audiobooks, I try to smile. In one sense, that makes no sense because it’s an audiobook. But a smile changes the tone of your voice.

While we’re on the subject, the science behind smiling is quite fascinating. Estimates vary, but some say it takes twenty-two facial muscles to smile, while it takes thirty-seven facial muscles to frown. Save yourself some energy, and smile. Smiling relieves stress, boosts your immune system, reduces blood pressure, and helps you live longer. But wait—there’s more. Smiling helps you stay positive and project confidence.

When our kids were young, we had a mantra: Your face tells your body how to feel. You can shift your feelings with facial expressions. All you have to do is turn that frown upside down!

Studies indicate that children smile approximately 400 times per day while adults smile, on average, 20 times per day. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we lose 380 smiles per day. We’ve got to get some of those smiles back! That’s part of what it means to become like little children. Smiling is the way we steward our forty-two facial muscles as well as the seventh cranial nerve that controls them. Fun fact? Smiling is scientifically proven to make you more attractive!

A smile adds pretty to please!

In the book of Daniel, the turning point is a bold ask. Daniel is punching above his weight.

Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water.

I can’t prove that Daniel said it with a smile, and I have no idea what tone of voice he used, but Daniel said please. He had tact, times ten. His intelligence quotient had to be pretty high. After all, he spent three years studying the literature and language of the Babylonians. But I don’t think that is what got him promoted to prime minister. The genealogy of success traces back to a simple please. It was a ten-day fast that set Daniel apart. He found favor, thanks to please.

Please, Sorry, Thanks: The Three Words That Change Everything; Mark Batterson

We have just released a 8- week study on the topic: Please, Sorry, Thanks. It does not go chapter by chapter through Mark Batterson’s book by the same title. Rather, it deals with similar themes. You can get it on Amazon. It is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking.