Thursday, May 15, 2008

Father Knows Best

This is the thought from the new book I received from one of my kids. The book is The 100 Most Important Bible Verses.

"Jesus said, 'Your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.' " Matthew 6:8 NCV

"Jesus gave His disciples the Lord's Prayer as an example of how to pray. Right before He spoke these famous words, Jesus shared a few reasons why one should pray. To do this, He provided two examples -- negative ones. Jesus said the Pharisees prayed in public because they wanted to be seen as holy by other people. He also said idol worshipers prayed, repeating themselves over and over, because they believed that the more frequently they asked for something, the better chance they had of having their request granted. After those negative examples, Jesus spoke the reassurance that God already knows what you need.

"At first, His words may seem to provide a reason why not to pray, instead of why to pray. If God knows what you need before you ask, why bother asking in the first place? Jesus's point is, the purpose of prayer isn't to be noticed by other people -- or even by God. God already notices you. He knows everything about you and your life. Prayer is not a way to draw God's attention to your needs. It is a way to draw your attention to how much you need God.

"Your greatest continual need is to better know and love God. Communicating with Him about the details of you life keeps you aware of how involved He already is. It also helps you see how many of your needs He fills every day. The more you recognize your dependence on God, the more thankful you become, and the deeper your love grows.

"The Lord's Prayer teaches you to pray for your daily bread. Jesus's words from Matthew don't contradict that lesson. They're a reminder that God needs to be involved in your life, not merely informed about it."

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