God longs for us to be in dialogue with him, and we do that through prayer. Jesus gave much instruction and example on prayer during his ministry time on earth, teaching us the importance of praying to God alone from our hearts, not a desire to impress others. He wasn’t against group prayer at all, he just wanted to see us in proper communication with God the Father so that we may truly express what is in our hearts completely free and comfortable. Regular prayer leads to a greater understanding of God’s will and is an essential part of Christian living. These words, paraphrased from Luke 11:2-13 give us further encouragement on this important topic:
My son taught many people how to pray with what is now called “The Lord’s Prayer.” His lesson in this was to teach his disciples that my Kingdom is near, but not yet fully present. This prayer is a simple way to focus your heart on communication with me, but it is not the only way to pray. Rather, Jesus was teaching how to pray, not what to pray. I long to communicate with you through prayer of all kinds, but Jesus’ example laid a terrific foundation. He began with worship, recognizing me as Father, a term not familiar to the Jewish people who felt it was too informal to use. However, Jesus was showing them I am their father and because of him, they are invited into a deeper, more intimate, relationship with Me. He then asked for My kingdom to come soon, daily needs to be provided for, forgiveness for self and others, and protection from temptation. I want you to notice that this prayer is a petition: first, that My will and purpose would happen and second, that all needs, physical and spiritual, would be provided for. By coming to Me in this way, you are showing that I am in control and allowing me the space to answer. Jesus then taught his disciples that I am a true Father, and like any Father, I want to bless My children. He gave a parable of someone being persistent in their efforts, and seeing the result eventually. So come to Me, and come often! I will never tire of communicating with My Beloved Children! Though I know the desires of you heart, I long to hear them in communication. Though I know your needs, and am willing to provide, I long to hear it from you yourself. Allow yourself time to be still and await My response. Prayer is a dialogue if you will allow it to be. Thanks to the Holy Spirit in you, you may come to Me boldly and often. Oh, how I love our time together.
God the Father
Luke 11:2-13, paraphrased
- What prayer have you been praying consistently? How can you be encouraged today to keep praying in that area?
- How can you pray more for God’s will and less for your own?
- How can you spend time listening effectively in prayer today?
Alternate verses for your reflection:
- Jeremiah 29:11-14
- James 5:13-18
- Matthew 6:5-15
- Psalm 17:1-9
- Romans 12:2-15