“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him…” (Jesus – Matthew 6:8)
Before we actually launch into thoughts on the Lord’s Prayer, I felt it necessary to address an issue that often plagues our hearts.
If God already knows everything… and knows what we need (even before we ask Him), why do we really need to pray?
Admittedly, it seems kind of silly to go through all the motions of prayer for something that God already knows – and certainly knows that we need or desire.
But we need to see this from God’s perspective. He is not just interested in doing things for us – He is supremely interested in His connection with us. He wants not only to be our God… but He wants to be the God of our personal lives. He desires relationship, not just rulership. He seeks interaction, not just our right actions.
I am quite certain that many times in our lives, God does things for us, of which we aren’t even aware. He does things, and we haven’t a clue of what He just did for us. Love is that way. (It may even blow our minds to think about the fact that God actually does kind things for those who ignore or hate Him – His love extends that far!) The point is that God desires to do good things in our lives – He wants to express His love for us in ways that have personal meaning to us.
But He also wants us to recognize Him in our lives. He wants us to seek Him, to include Him in every aspect of our lives – to acknowledge His benefits and promises to us… on a personal level.
This is at the core of Jesus’ admonition to: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) These words are in the context of seeking things from the Father. Jesus ends His admonition with an observation: “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.” (7:11)
Jesus teaches us that it is God’s desire to give (and give abundantly), but He seeks that we look to Him for what we need. He simply wants us to ask.
And James offers the straightforward: “You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2; in the context of desiring things in life)
God does not want us to see Him as our spiritual “Santa Claus” in the sky – but He does desire that we seek Him for our supply of what is needed, and even wanted, in our lives.
In Christ, our relationship with God is based on a friendship. Because of Jesus’ work on our behalf, we are made to be the friends of God. He actually wants to “hang out” with us – and us, with Him. He actually desires to impart good things into our lives. He seeks to be the Source of all that we need or desire. He seeks to do for us what ONLY God can do – and He wants us to know that this is the manner of relationship that He chose for us.
At the heart of prayer is the goodness of God – and a people who seek Him as their sole solution for the issues, struggles, needs, and desires of this life.