Three Lessons About Speaking to God
When Jesus teaches about prayer in John 14, we should tune in and prepare to learn. His words are bold and epic. The promises seem almost too big to believe. Jesus says things such as, we will do the kind of works he has been doing, we will do greater things than what he had done, and we could ask for anything in his name and he would do it. This sounds like a blank check and an absolute promise. But when we look closer, we learn that God is inviting us to speak, listen, and trust his wisdom. What is Jesus teaching us about speaking to the God who is always listening?
God invites us to ask. Since God is listening, he is ever ready to hear our prayers and receive our requests. But God is not a Santa Claus who waits for our list of the presents we want once a year. We are to ask with humility and wisdom. God wants to hear our desires and passions, but he delights when these are being shaped and formed by his presence in our lives and his will for the world around us.
We are to do this in the name of Jesus. For so many of us, this means that we tag the words “In the name of Jesus” on the end of our prayer. But when Jesus calls us to pray in his name, he is calling us to pray as he would pray. Ambassadors do not say whatever they want and place the weight of a country behind their words. Instead, they are to faithfully represent the name and will of their country. In the same way, when we pray in the name of Jesus, we are declaring that our prayer is consistent with the heart of Jesus and the will of the Father.
Our requests and the fruit of our prayers are meant to bring glory to the Father. When we pray, we should always be asking the question, would this bring praise and honor to the God who saved me? Will this prayer, if answered in the affirmative, lift up God and glorify his holy name?
Before praying today, think about the requests you are going to bring to God. How can you offer your petitions to God in a way that is humble, Christlike, and God-honoring?