ODJ: Why Pray?

October 20, 2016 

READ: Luke 22:39-44 

He . . . knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (vv.41-42).

Jesus knew His Father couldn’t grant His request, yet He prayed it anyway. He had to die on the cross to save us, yet He still pled with His Father to take away “this cup of suffering” (Luke 22:42). Why did Jesus pray when He knew the answer was No? He prayed because of the sheer terror that lay before Him (v.44). Jesus prayed because prayer isn’t primarily about getting what we want. It’s about our relationship with our heavenly Father.

Have you ever wondered why God wants us to ask for things? If what we ask for is according to His good will, then He is already planning on giving it to us. If it’s not, then He won’t. Why has God commanded that we ask, seek, and knock for whatever we want? (Matthew 7:7-11). Why does God make us ask for our daily needs? (Luke 11:3).

Because He knows it’s best for us.

Have you ever dated someone you thought was too good for you? While you were delighted to be with her, you also shrank before her beauty or charisma. You were afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing and so you froze, becoming a shadow of your true self. If the other person was wise, she asked you questions to get you talking. She knew that if your relationship was going to go anywhere, you would have to find your voice.

There’s no more lopsided relationship than the one between God and us. We’re the unequal partner in this relationship, easily overwhelmed by the infinite beauty and majesty of God. Yet He wants a genuine relationship with us, so He’s devised a way for us to find our voice. He doesn’t need us to ask for what we need, but He knows that we do. Let’s go ahead and tell Him what we want, even if we think the answer will be No. God wants to hear from us, so let’s speak up today!

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan: Acts 9:1-19

Read Matthew 7:7-11 to learn how to tell God what you want. 
What do you need to ask God for today? Why is it important to continue asking Him for what you want?