(Note: for those of you who were looking for my usual devo post yesterday, once again I had Internet difficulties, making it impossible to post. These interruptions in my service have been happening more often than they used to. So, from here on out, if you don’t see my usual Monday to Friday post on a certain day, just assume that’s what happened. And I will make a pattern out of making up for the lost post, on the weekend. Love you all!)
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:7-8, NKJV).
Earlier this week, my six-year-old Lily had to have some dental work done. At first, she was so nervous about it that she had tears flowing down her cheeks. However, she gradually managed to calm down completely. She ended up coming through the experience rather cheerfully. I told her that, as a reward for her courage, I would let her pick out a new toy from the store (on me, of course).
Now tell me. If you had to guess what happened next, do you think Lily started to beg me for a new toy from the store? Did she get down on her knees and implore me to please consider purchasing a gift for her? Did she ask me five hundred times to consider her case?
Nope. She simply waited in eager anticipation for the fulfillment of my promise.
Let’s pull this principle over to the spiritual realm. Once Daddy has promised us a good gift, do we need to beg Him for it? In the passage above, Jesus lovingly explains to us that we don’t. When we know how good our Daddy is, our posture in prayer will flow spontaneously from that knowledge. It will look a lot like Lily’s joyful expectation of the good things to come.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV).
Yes, this is the confidence that is ours. How, though, do we know if a certain petition is in alignment with His will? If a promise is revealed in the Scriptures, then it’s most definitely His will. We can pray accordingly, with robust certainty. Here are a few examples:
- “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19, ESV).
→ Implication for our prayer posture: We don’t need to implore Him to meet our needs. Instead, let’s lift up a simple, “Daddy, we need to pay the rent this month. I am entrusting this need→ into Your hands. You will supply all of our needs according to Your riches in glory! Thank You ahead of time for the way You are going to take care of this.”
- “And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (Matt. 12:15, NKJV).
→ Implication for our prayer posture: Jesus didn’t turn a single soul away. Healing is in His core nature. We can pray with simple trust according to His revealed will: “Daddy, Jesus is the exact representation of Your nature. He came to show us what You are like. He healed everyone that came to Him. I believe You want to heal me because You love me so much, so I’m asking You to do so.”
- “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you’” (Ps. 32:8, NLT).
→ Implication for our prayer posture: We don’t need to talk Daddy into giving us wisdom for the critical decisions we face. We don’t need to plead. He is joyfully ready to supply it in abundance. Instead, let’s nestle in and pray, “Daddy, You are full of passionate intentionality about getting me to my destiny. I trust You to lead me every step of the way ahead. Please make it clear to me what You want me to do.” Then release the burden of your decision to Him. Joyfully know that you have what you have asked.
Dear child of His, prayer is meant to be a joy, not a burden. As we fellowship with Him, His heavenly supply of strength, peace, encouragement – and everything else we need – flows freely from His beautiful heart to ours. Let’s be those little ones cuddling in His lap. That where He’s invited us to be, today. And always.
What Scriptures do you love to use as you pray?