Jesus modeled and taught a praying lifestyle.
In Luke 11, Jesus responds to the disciples request to "teach us how to pray." To go the Jesus way, it is imperative that you learn His powerful prayer lessons and live them out each day.
The essence of Jesus' prayer perspective is rooted in His comparison of our Heavenly Father to a good earthly father. The Lord teaches in Luke 11: 11, "Which of you fathers, if your son asked for a fish would give him a snake instead? If then, you who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"
When God hears our prayers, He responds like a good Dad. But our Heavenly Father has the
advantage of being all knowing and totally wise. Additionally, He loves His child and wants
the ultimate best for them, not temporary entertainment. Therefore, no matter how good our
cause, we cannot change God's mind or prompt Him to act outside of His plan. Let me give
you a simple example.
Imagine that my daughter Alex, who is 15, comes to me and requests $300 to buy a 9mm
pistol because she wants to take it to school as a protective measure. Regardless of her please
for purchasing the pistol, I will say no to this request because it is inappropriate and could
be harmful to her. Let's extend the analogy another step. Imagine Alex said, "Dad, I need
$300 to buy some college textbooks. Even though I am only in 10th grade, I want to start
preparing for my college career by studying molecular chemistry and quantum physics." I
would lovingly express appreciation for Alex's thirst for knowledge, but explain to her that
she is a 10th grader and it is important for her to enjoy her high school days. Therefore, I
will not grant her request to provide money to purchase college textbooks. Lastly, imagine
that Alex comes to me and says, "Dad, we're going on a youth
retreat and I need $300 for my fees and to bring an un-churched friend. Could you help me out?" With a sense of joy and delight, I would provide the cash because Alex has made a worthy request that needs fulfilling.
My friend, you may be assured that prayer is a powerful tool. We see unbelievers saved, the sick healed, and evil defeated. The Lord changes things everyday through our prayers. Furthermore, we have an opportunity to participate through His work as we talk with Him and obediently choose to serve His purposes.
Let me urge you to become a person of consistent prayer who trusts your Heavenly Father to wisely fill your requests in a way that helps you, expands His kingdom and glorifies His holy name.