“When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'” Matthew 6:6-13
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11
If God knows what we need, why pray, or at least, why keep praying once we’ve expressed that need? Because there is more to praying than getting what we ask for. Jesus denounces meaningless repetition, but then corrects that habit with another habit– of praying privately, reverently, consistently, humbled before the exalted and holy Father, trusting Him with every care to answer and act according to His will and good provision.
This kind of praying opens the door to reveal more and more of our Lord. This kind of asking draws us nearer to His heart. This kind of seeking increases our understanding of His character and ways. This kind of knocking refines, changes, and sanctifies us as God’s Spirit directs and aligns our desires with His. That is God’s intent in our continual going to Him in prayer. He receives worship when we bow, honor when we depend, and glory in all the marvelous ways He answers, and in the process of it all, we change to be better able to reflect Him. (Psalm 37:4; Romans 8:26-27; 2 Corinthians 3:18)
Are there areas of confusion in my life I cannot see clearly, and need divine focus? Are there places I hide from my God, afraid He will not understand or accept, and refuse His healing balm? In what situations am I begging for Him to work my way, and failing to see His hand working His way, invisibly and with perfect timing and accuracy?
What will it take for us to close the door, hide away in the secret place, hallow God’s name, and persist in the sweet communion of prayer until He has finished conversing with us? (Genesis 17:22; 18:22-33)
Good Father, keep me fervently praying for Your will to be done in me, and in Your world. May I not let go until You have had Your way with me. (Genesis 32:26)