Prayer is a gift given to the believer in Jesus. In prayer, those rescued from sin commune with Father God through praise, confession of sin, and a seeking of His will, provision, guidance, and help according to His plan for His glory. As Jesus indicates here in verses 9-10, prayer isn’t giving God our wish list, but asking God for His wish list and putting ourselves in a position to ask Him to accomplish His will through us and the situations of our lives, for His glory. With thanksgiving, the believer who truly understands what we were saved from (sin, seeking our own glory) and what we were saved to (life, seeking His glory) should desire and pray for His will through his/her life, because it is for His glory and our good (Romans 8.28). Through prayer, our requests declare our dependence upon God. We pray to our Father (loving, intimate, caring, providing, protecting, etc.) in Heaven (the holy One who is sovereign and does as He pleases – Psalm 115.3). Through His fatherhood and sovereignty, He did what only He could do by providing salvation for us and bringing us to Him. Knowing He is Father and sovereign should bring us great joy, confidence, and worship as we pray. Believers are commanded to pray (Luke 18:1; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2). Jesus prayed (Matthew 26:36; Mark 1:35), and in Matthew 6:5-13, He begins to teach us how to pray.
Questions to Consider
- What keeps you from praying? How can you intentionally disrupt your schedule and reclaim solitude to make time for thoughtful prayer to seek His will?
- How can we tell if we are using prayer as a tool to impress others or as a means by which to truly share with God our heart’s desire?
- How has God shown Himself in Scripture to be a loving, intimate, perfect Father? The holy, sovereign, King of all? Knowing we are praying to Him who is both, how does that inform our prayers and our approach to prayer?
Action Steps for This Week
- If you are struggling with finding time to pray, intentionally build a regular time for prayer into your daily schedule this week that nothing else gets to interrupt.
- Pick a different psalm or another prayer found in Scripture each day to read. Pray that psalm or Scriptural prayer to God that day.
- Spend some time reflecting on Ephesians 1.3-14 and the intimate, loving fatherhood of God and the sovereignty of our holy God in how He saved us according to His plan. Reflect on how these truths should affect our attitude and approach to prayer, and our confidence that He will work for His glory and purpose (which is for our good – Romans 8.28).