Jesus was talking to people who had gathered to hear Him preach — not all were followers. Some were those who prayed their repetitive prayers, hoping their god would hear and answer.
Jesus shared the truth about YHWH, that we don’t have to repeat a mantra, repeating the words a certain number of times, wondering if that was enough to please the god and get their requests heard.
God wants a relationship with His children. He wants that to develop such that we are like the little child who walks up to his mom or dad and says, “I want this” then runs off to play again.
When did we make it more difficult than that? When did we make it a formula? When did we take His words in the next verses as the recipe for how to get our prayers answered?
Yes, we’re to include praise and thanksgiving and confession, but most importantly, we’re to build our relationship with Him so that our conversations with Him are like the ones we would have with someone across the table or in the car.
Jesus also said God already knows what we’re going to ask before we ask. Well, d’oh! He knows everything all the time! Then we ask, if He knows what I need, why should I have to ask?
If you love someone—child, parent, sibling, family, friend—and they have a need you know about, do you rush in and take over, providing that need or do you wait and allow that person to come to the understanding of what they need so they can ask you and then you help? One way creates emotional health, the other doesn’t. God works in us to make us strong and whole, so He allows us to work through our feelings about what is happening in our lives and on our relationship with Him so that like the little child, we are unafraid to pipe up with what we need, knowing that our Heavenly Father hears and answers.
Let’s focus more on the WHO we’re praying to and less on the HOW. Let’s learn Him, spend time with Him, trust Him, and lean on Him for every answer. The confession, praise, and thanksgiving will grow through that effort so that a formula or recipe is not needed.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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