“It seems to me,” I said one morning, “that prayer is kind of a tricky thing.”
“In what way?” Stan asked.
“Well, it’s like there are a lot of conditions in order for me to get what I want from God.”
“Such as what?”
“For example,” I said, “in Matthew’s gospel Jesus is recorded as saying that all it takes is for me to agree with someone else about what we want. Then it will be done. If something I want from God doesn’t happen, I wonder if it’s because someone else didn’t agree with what I want.”
“I think the key to what you’re asking is in what you just said,” Stan replied. “That part about what you want. You may think that my view about this is too simplistic, but my approach to God in prayer is based on the premise that, first, He already knows what’s on my heart. Secondly, He knows better than I do what’s best for me, and He wants only the best for me.”
“So why pray?” I responded.
“To come to an agreement with God that I want what’s on His heart to be on mine. That, I think, is the important agreement regarding my prayers. If I can agree that what’s on God’s heart is the most important thing to be on mine, it will happen. If I don’t, it won’t.”
“So you think agreement with God about your prayers is more important than agreeing with someone else about what you are praying. Is that it?”
“Bingo and amen,” Stan replied with a smile. “And I think this falls right in line with where Jesus said eternal life is knowing Him and His Father. Praying to know what’s on God’s heart is an essential part of knowing God!”
Concluding, Stan added, “If I will spend more time seeking to know God and what’s on His heart, rather than looking for someone who will agree with my prayers, it seems to me that I’m heading in the right direction!”
Bible verses to consider:
Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:19.
Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7, 8.
The effective prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16.
The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, . . . . 1 Samuel 13:14.
I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do My will. Acts of the Apostles 13:22.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you in prayer. Too often my prayers are self-focused in that I tell you what I want, rather than seeking to know what’s on your heart. Please help me with that so what I seek from you is to know what’s on your heart with the desire to have that to be on my heart as well. Open me to pray only in accordance with your will, not in accordance with my will when my will differs from yours. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: It’s easy for our prayers to be self-focused, telling God what we want. Do you agree that God already knows what we want and that what He wants is to show us what’s on His heart? Why or why not? Do you think that seeking to know what’s on God’s heart is an essential part of knowing God and, thus, is the pursuit of the eternal life of knowing Him and Jesus (John 17:3)? Why or why not?