“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven’” (Matthew 6:9a NIV)
Praying to God makes no sense unless he is willing to answer. Our faith in that fact is important–this is clear from scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments–but our faith is not of ultimate importance. One of the prayers in the Gospels that we can hold on to is from the man who cried out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NIV).
What matters most is God’s nature and character. And we find that, in fact, giving is very much part of the nature of God. In the verses following Luke’s account of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus adds further instruction to this prayer he taught.
““Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you 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!”” (Luke 11:11-13 NIV)
God is better at giving than we are. And Jesus adds that what God the Father is most interested in giving us is the Holy Spirit. How regular is this the request of our praying? No doubt, when we have the Spirit guiding us, praying through us even, our prayers are filled with more wisdom, power, and faith. Perhaps our need for the Holy Spirit in order to pray the Lord’s Prayer well explains why Jesus’ teaching quoted above is recorded just a few verses later.
We are blessed with a giving God. And he has one gift in particular that he most wants to give. Will we seek and ask for the gift of the Spirit?
Prayer: God, you are the greatest giver of all. I ask that you give me your Holy Spirit. May your Spirit teach me to pray, guide me in my praying, and pray through me when I don’t know what to pray. Amen.