“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
The overarching purpose of prayer demonstrates the nonnegotiable dependency of the created on the fully sustaining, sufficiency of the Creator. Prayer reveals the reality of our finiteness in distinction to His infiniteness. Our relationship to our Savior Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to daily align our lives to be in submission with our heavenly Father’s will so that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. In this understanding, the desires and directions of God our Father become the main focus for why we pray. We learn to pray unceasingly as we work out our salvation with Godly reverence and submission. Praying with God’s heart and mind reveals the sovereign kingdom rule of God who works in us to will and do His good pleasure (Mt. 5:10, 16-17, 6:9; 1 Thess. 3:10-11, 5:17; Phil. 2:12-13).
As the fully sustaining, sufficient Creator over His created, God has known and understood all things from eternity to eternity. Nothing surprises Him. He knows what we will say when we shut the door and pray to our Father who is in secret. He knows the answer to our prayers before they are ever voiced as we express our dependence on Him in prayer (Ps. 139:1-6; Mt. 6:8). He delights to give us good things—not a stone but bread, not a serpent but a fish (Mt. 7:9-11).
Creator God, it awes me that You know everything about me down to the most intimate detail, and that You lovingly gave breath to my body. Forgive me for my selfish nature that tends to want my will to be done rather than Yours. Teach me to be humbly submissive to the wisdom of Your heart and to continually make Your desires the focus of my prayers.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 18, Praying with God’s Heart and Mind by Joel Wilson). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for being perfectly just in all his works. Thank him for loving righteousness and justice (Ps. 33:5). Confess any ungodly bias you harbor toward any people. Commit yourself to viewing others with a loving, Christlike attitude. Ask God to help you value justice more highly in all relationships of life.
Pray that the members of your family will treat each other with mutual love and respect.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.