1 John 5:14 (ESV)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
Prayer is a conversation with God in which we can share our deepest thoughts with the creator of the universe.
God knows us better than anyone. He knows our true thoughts, needs and desires—and as we pray, we’re participating in a relationship with Him. Christians pray about a number of things, including praising God for who He is and what He’s done for us, thanking Him, confessing and repenting (saying sorry for the ways we’ve disobeyed and hurt Him, and asking for His help to stop and change), asking things for other people, and even asking things for ourselves.
Have you wondered if you can ask God for stuff?
The answer is Yes! God actually invites us to ask him for things—but we do it as part of a relationship!
In Philippians 4:6, Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
It’s also the model Jesus sets for us. Jesus himself is God, yet He still prayed to His Father and asked Him for things as we see in Mark 14:36, showing us that prayer is part of a relationship.
When we ask God for things, we’re expressing our dependence on Him, acknowledging that He is in control of all of the details of our lives, and we need His involvement - all true prayer is faith in action. And we're acknowledging that He will ultimately give us what we need, not simply what we want.
God has decided that one of the ways He’ll work in His world is through prayer. So when we pray we’re genuinely involved in God’s work on earth. Praying for other people is one way we can love and serve them.
As we look at the prayers of people like Jesus and the Apostle Paul in the Bible, we can see they pray with priorities that reflect God’s priorities.
So, while we’re free to pray about anything, it’s great to pray for things we know God wants and are good for us and other people.
This is less asking for ‘wishes’ and more asking for God’s will to be done, such as growing in faith and godliness, persevering in adversity, relief from suffering or the spread of the gospel.
God has decided to use our prayers, so in a sense we play a part in bringing these things about. The fact that He is sovereign doesn’t rule out our human responsibility to act, much like we work in partnership with God in growing in godliness.
Dear Lord, we thank You for the privilege that we have to come to You in prayer. Help us to make it part of our life to be inconstant prayer with You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.