March Like Jesus
… In Our Praying – Part II
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-18
Key Verse: Matthew 6:8
“Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him”!
Our Key Verse for today brings a challenging element to Jesus’s teaching on praying. If our Father in Heaven already knows what we need before we ask, why are we told to pray? Is prayer an exercise in futility?
James, the brother of Jesus, shades light on this question when he wrote:
“…you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” (James 4:2)
Jesus came to this earth to make possible a relationship with God, not to create a new religion. In any healthy relationship, there is communication between the parties. So it is with God.
God decided to have a relationship with us and invites us to pray. Prayer is simply talking to God. It is God’s plan to listen to us and answer our prayers. Sometimes God’s answer is “yes”, sometimes “no”, and sometimes God’s answer is “wait”. Yes, God knows what we need before we ask, but we may not receive some things simply because we did not ask!
The reason Jesus tells His followers that the Father knows what they need before they ask is because He does not want them to believe that if they babble on and on that God answers. This wonderful relationship that Jesus offers for those who ask does not demand a lot of words to convince God to help us. Jesus reinforces these instructions in chapter seven by telling us that God loves to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11).
When you ask God for something, try this approach: “Father, I know You love to give good gifts to me, so if it fits into Your divine plan for me, please grant me _______.”
When you ask God for help, keep in mind that He loves you and loves to give good gifts to you. His answer is “yes” if it fits into His overall plan and it will not harm you spiritually, emotionally, or physically.
With these truths in our minds, we can do what the Hebrew writer tells us to do:
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16)
I have a feeling that most of us could use a boost in our confidence in approaching God with our needs.
My prayer for you is that your prayers are powerful and effective, not because of your many words, but because of your strong confidence in a loving and powerful God.
Father, I am so grateful for Your loving care over me. Holy Spirit, please remind me often to have confidence in approaching God in prayer. I ask this in Jesus’s Name, amen.