Have you ever wondered why God wants us to pray when he already knows what we need and what we are thinking? The answer may be found by looking at human parent–child relationships. God is our heavenly Father, and we are his children. I hate when our children go from being small, wanting to share every detail in their life and hearts, to a time in life when it isn’t “cool” to talk to your parents. I have had “conversations” with one of my teenagers that went something like this:
Mike: “How are you doing today?”
Mike: “What happened at school today?”
Mike: “What are your plans for this week?”
Child: “Don’t know.”
This has always frustrated me, because I love my kids, and I want them to always talk to me. I want them to tell me the details of their day and especially what is going on in their hearts.
I know that God knows everything, but I think he still enjoys hearing his children’s voices when they talk to him. Parents don’t like nagging, whining, and demanding voices, but I love it when one of my children, worried or fearful or confused, comes to me in a soft, humble voice and says, “Daddy, can you help me? I really need your help!” Other times, when I know they need my help and encouragement, and when I want more than anything to give it to them—I wait for them to admit it and ask for help. Jesus tells us to ask, seek, and knock (see Matthew 7:7)—our heavenly father is not slow to hear our requests, nor reluctant to respond to them.
God wants his children to open up and talk to him about everything. A monk from the past, Brother Lawrence, challenges us to not limit in any way our conversations with God. No topic is off limits:
“The most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with Him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way. This is especially important in times of temptation, sorrow, separation from God, and even in times of unfaithfulness and sin.”
REFLECTIONS: Do you regularly open up and tell God all that is in your heart, not holding anything back or are their certain aspects of your life or certain topics that you avoid talking to Him about? How can you challenge yourself to open up and talk to God about these things on a regular basis?
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests . . .