“Here’s what I am saying, Ask and you’ll get; seek and you’ll find; knock and the door will open. Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.” Luke 11:9-10.

If this story is about the reason why we pray, it is also about our attitude in prayer – honesty. Because God is spirit who lives in the realm of the unseen, it is very easy to be artificial in prayer. The temptation is to think that, because I can’t see Him, therefore He can’t see me. If He can’t see me, then He can’t know what is in my heart and He is confined to hearing my words in order to know me and what I need.

How foolish is that! God is omniscient. He knows what I am thinking and why I am thinking it. True fellowship with God can only happen on the basis of transparency in my heart. God hears my heart more than my words. How much better to express what is in my heart, even if it not what I think God wants to hear.

How does this fit in with asking for what I think I need? As much as God has issued an invitation to me to come to Him honestly with my needs, knowing full well that I don’t always know what is good for me and, therefore my requests are always subject to His greater wisdom, He has given me the gift of His Spirit who makes all the difference to the outcome of my praying. It is far more important for me to pray with open-hearted honesty that to get my requests or even my words right. The Apostle Paul assures me that, because I do not know what to pray, the Holy Spirit accurately interprets my prayers to the Father.

So what is Jesus saying? Don’t play games with God when you pray. Be honest. Be direct. State your request and leave the answer to God. He is a Father. He knows what you need and He will answer according to His wisdom. His reason for inviting you to come to Him with your needs is not because He does not know but because He desires fellowship with you.

The awareness of need in your life is a reminder that you are as dependent on Him as a baby is on its mother. If you get that right, you will be making a huge stride towards the intimacy with the Father that He longs for you to initiate.

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Luella Campbell

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