Learning to Pray

Jesus, can you teach us how to pray? He would love to. “Our Father in heaven, holy is your name, your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us….” Hold it!

Why would Jesus teach us to pray for His Father’s “will to be done”, unless it is possible for His will not to be done? Is it feasible for God to accomplish His will in the spiritual realm while not accomplishing it on earth? It seems so. In other words, the Father’s will is not always done. Why? Because we fail to ask. We fail to believe. We fail to pray His will.

The presupposition, “Why pray? God is going to do His what He wants anyway”, is a misunderstanding of the workings of God’s Kingdom and prayer. Instead, we are to partner with God in acting His will in the physical world: His will that has already been accomplished in heaven. God’s will is enacted on earth when we pray and believe that it will be done.

What if we don’t know God’s will? Well, perhaps we should ask Jesus to reveal it to us so we know how to pray. Then as the Spirit of God impresses the Father’s will in our hearts, we should pray accordingly, even if we don’t like His will (consider Jesus’ prayer while in the garden of Gethsemane).

Does God’s activity on earth in response to our prayers minimize His sovereignty? Not a chance. But it does communicate His love. God longs to give good gifts to His children, but we must ask. Jesus is clear, “you have not, because you ask not”. Like the disciples, we need to ask Jesus to teach us how to pray. And then, Do it!

Endnotes: God is speaking these truthes into my own heart while listening to “The Hope of Prayer” by John Eldridge.

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