Matthew 21:22 – And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
Luke 18:1 – And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
1 Corinthians 13:7 – Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Once we know what prayer is and how it relates to our relationship with God the Father, the next logical question is, “How should we pray?”.
In Matthew 21:22, Jesus says, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Start with faith. We need to have faith that God exists, that he loves us, that he wants to take care of us, that he hears us, and that he wants us to have all we need. We need to have faith that the Spirit is teaching us to pray. We need to have faith that Jesus has died to forgive our sins, making us children whose prayers the Father chooses to hear.
Like all dads, God reserves three potential answers to all prayers: Yes, No, or Later. Sometimes we pray for things and we lament, “God didn’t answer my prayer.” But he did. He just said no. “No” is an answer.
Some years ago, it was bedtime in my house, and three of my kids made requests. First kid comes up and says, “Dad, I’m hungry, can I have some grapes?” Yes. That’s a do-able request.
The next kid approached and says, “Dad, I’m thirsty, can I have a Coke?” No. There’s no bedtime Coke. You don’t have to stay up to study for mid-terms, you’re six. Have some water.
The next kid comes up and says, “Dad, I really enjoyed swimming with you today, can we go swimming again right now?” Later. We’ll swim again. But not at ten o’clock at night. Right now, it’s time for bed.
Three kids, three requests. I don’t love any of them any less than the others. All three are my children whom I love and want to please. But based on the requests and the timing of the requests, they got three different answers. And that’s how God answers us: Yes, No, or Later.
One of the simplest ways to pray in faith is to pray with the belief that God hears our prayers but that not getting what we want doesn’t mean God isn’t answering. Keep praying! Don’t just pray once and move on.
- What thing do you struggle to trust God with your life? Spend some time today discussing that with the Lord today, as well as discussing your fears about it with him.
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