Archives: Teach Me To Pray

What You Think You Need

What You Think You Need

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

In response to that question, Jesus taught his disciples using a model prayer. That prayer has been referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”. During this prayer, Jesus models a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray today.

In verse 3, after Jesus has instructed His disciples to start with focusing on God as their source and laying down their will, He prays, “Give us our daily bread.”

Isn’t it good to know that God has invited us to ask for what we need?

Later, as Jesus continues to teach, He parallels God’s response to us to that of a father responding to his kids. If my kids ask for food, I typically try to find them something to eat. If my kids ask for a hug, I don’t withhold it. If my kids want to pray with me, I never say, “No.”

What have you refused to pray for because you already said no for God?

Maybe you’re the mom who sees a need in the character of your child, but you’ve resisted asking God to give it because it’s always been a part of your family. Maybe you’re the business owner who needs to his business to grow so that you can hire someone to help you so that you can spend more time with your family, but you’ve felt selfish in praying for further financial success.

Maybe God wants to say, “Yes.”

Isn’t it amazing to know that God invites us to ask for the things we think we need? Because, let’s be honest about this, we don’t always know what we need. Some of us think we need things that are simply wants. Even though we miss it, He still wants to talk to us about it!

So… “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

Here’s one simple caution: Don’t assume that God is obligated to do what you ask simply because you’ve prayed about it.

God can never answer a prayer that is outside of His will, both as it’s revealed in the Scriptures for you and as the Holy Spirit desires to lead you.

He’s not under your authority, you are under His.

Sometimes my kids will ask RIGHT AFTER dinner for MORE FOOD!!! I know that they do not need it, it’s just a want, and if I fulfilled their request it would be unhealthy for them.

In that same way, God will lovingly say “No” when a “Yes” would hurt.

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What’s something you’ve said “No” to God for that you need to start seeking God to do in your life?

Shift Your Focus

Shift Your Focus

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

In this moment, Jesus taught his disciples to pray by praying a model prayer. That prayer has been referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer” and is commonly recited among Christians worldwide.

During this prayer, Jesus models a progression of perspectives that could and should change the way we pray!

During the first blog in this series I shared how Jesus invites us to focus on Him as we begin to pray. What a powerful invitation! We can choose to look into the heart of the one that can change everything and talk to Him as a friend!

In the very next statement Jesus says, “Your kingdom come (your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven).” (see Luke 11:2 and Matthew 6:10)

The second perspective Jesus directs us to in prayer is a broader perspective.

This broader perspective is not self-centered. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to act like the world revolves around ourselves? When we act this way, we make EVERY THING about us, get offended easily, use people, manipulate relationships, and sabotage our lives.

This perspective is not self-serving. Do you find that in yourself you often want things to go well for YOU? In this way, we think: If it’s not good for me, then it can’t be good. This keeps us from embracing the gifts God gives us in difficult moments, from journeying through brokenness to find His beauty.

This perspective is not self-focused. Isn’t that how we often think of the world? Through a lens that sees ourselves and our interests first. If we allow ourselves to view the world this way, we’ll spend much of our lives only focused on ourselves and that kind of life is futile and empty.

Jesus invites us to shift into a perspective that see’s the interests of God first, to value the movement of hope and restoration that is spreading around the world through the Gospel of Jesus more than our own lives.

That perspective changes everything.

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What needs to change for you to be more concerned about what God is doing rather than what you want?

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