When the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1), it was because they truly wanted to learn to pray in a way that pleased him. Likewise, many Christians today would love to be faithful in prayer — but they don’t know how. Because they simply do not grasp the vital purpose of prayer, they do not maintain a meaningful life of prayer.
Many pray out of a sense of obligation, thinking it is something they are supposed to do. Others pray only in times of crisis or tragedy. But it is important to understand that while prayer is for our own benefit, it is also for the delight of the Lord! Without these two elements, we do not have a foundation upon which to build a prayer life.
We are not just to intercede for things we need, but we are to ask for the things He desires. And his deepest desire is fellowship with us — intimacy and communion.
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. . . . Look at the birds of the air . . . your Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).
“For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (6:32-33, emphasis added).
God is saying to us, “When you come into my presence, focus your attention on fellowship with me, on getting to know me. Don’t let your focus be on material things. I know what your needs are and I will take care of them all. Just seek me and let us enjoy sweet communion.”
The kind of prayer that most pleases God is very simple and easy to understand; it is so simple, in fact, that a little child can pray in a way that pleases him.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon