I pray, first of all because I love God. I love His Presence. I love spending time talking to Him. I’ve loved God since I was a little girl and He is my dear friend.
But I also pray for results.
While I don’t believe we need to have all the right words to get our prayer answered, I believe what we believe when we pray definitely affects our results. And when we know, really KNOW this one thing it will affect our outcome.
I am so thankful that Jesus began His pattern prayer in Matthew 6 with “our Father.” Those two words are total game changers. They are the key to pray different.
How do you feel when you ask someone you don’t know to do something really big for you?
I don’t like to do that. First of all I don’t know if they can do it and then I don’t know if they are trustworthy.
But Father is totally different. And while I understand that human fathers aren’t perfect, our heavenly Father is perfect!
You ask your dad for things in a very different way than you do a stranger.
Our Father…our heavenly Father
If you have asked Jesus into your heart then God is your heavenly Father. When you really understand what that means it will cause you to pray differently.
When Jesus started His pattern prayer with “Our Father” He was saying address your prayer to “our Father.” We know that God is Jesus Father, but “our” includes you and me.
Is He your heavenly Father?
Let’s look over the shoulders of the disciples to hear Jesus tell His disciples some very startling news. It is found in John 16. “I’m going away. I am going to the Father.”
It was the last thing they ever expected to hear from Jesus. Jesus gave them some very important reasons why He had to go away, but it didn’t really make sense to them.
John 16:22 NLT So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
Did you see that?
Jesus said from now on I want you to ask the Father directly. You’ve asked me for lots of things, but from now on, ask the Father.
It’s OK to name drop?
Yes, Use His Name
Jesus told them to use His name when they prayed. There is power in His name. There is authority in His name. That’s one reason it’s so important to never use His name in vain. Always speak His name with love and respect.
26Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.
We already know to do that. That’s nothing new. That’s the foundation. There’s more.
The Father loves you dearly.
Let’s look at 1 John 3:1BSB Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.
Maybe you’ve never heard that word before. It is like a great big, red stoplight.
Behold says stop, look, study this. I want you to see what kind of love it is that the Father has given to us…to you. Please take this personal.
There’s nothing common about this love.
It’s extraordinary. It’s amazing. It’s incredible, but if you don’t stop and look at it. It you don’t receive it, believe it you’ll never experience the transformation that it can bring in your life. I’m getting ahead of myself.
We think we know all about love. We love ice cream. We love football or we love a particular video game. Really? Is that the only measuring tape we have to understand love?
We’ve heard the words Jesus loves us so much that we don’t even hear them anymore. But God’s love is better, far better than you ever imagined. That’s why John says Behold, what manner of love the Father has given to us.”
Our capacity to understand God’s love is like little children, with little buckets trying to measure the water in the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean is just too big to measure with a little plastic bucket. God’s love is immeasurable.
And His great love never stops. Like the waves of the ocean keep crashing onto the seashore. His love is endless. He doesn’t love you today and tomorrow decide you were too naughty for His love. NO!
John is saying look closer. Allow the wonder, the breathless awe and delight fill your soul with the reality of what God has given you through His Son Jesus Christ. God’s lavish, extravagant love, heaven’s greatest expenditure had a purpose, that we should become in the deepest sense, His children. Children of God.
God’s love transforms us.
Absolutely transforms us into His children.
Because He loves you so much, because you are His child, because He is a good, good Father you can ask boldly. You can approach God in faith, believing that He will do what He promised He would do.
When we begin to comprehend, really, really comprehend the depths of His extravagant love we will believe different. We will pray different. We will experience a new boldness in our prayer. Even when we are praying for things that are way outside our ability, way beyond our limit.
Our God is big enough to heal our land. He is big enough to heal the sick and deliver people from anger and hatred. So instead of little, faithless prayers we pray different. We pray what we see in God’s Word…victory, healing and wholeness.
I spoke in a Girl’s retreat one summer where I asked the girl’s to name the richest man in the world. Several great names came up as the girl’s discussed who the richest man might be.
Then I changed the question, “How would it change your life if the richest man in the world was your dad?
With broad smiles, the girl’s named specific things they would own and places they would visit and things they would do if their dad was the richest man in the world.
But one very wise girl really nailed it when she simply replied, “Everything he has would be mine too.”
Every thing he has would be mine…everything. So true.
Psalm 84:11 ESV For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
If God is your Father, all He has is yours.
Romans 8:32 NIV He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
1 Corinthians 3:21,22 NIV So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours,
So that’s why I believe, when we really believe those two words , our Father, we will pray different.
More on prayer.