It has been said that there is only one person in the kingdom who can wake up the king at midnight to ask for a glass of water without fear of being punished—the king’s kid. Through faith in Jesus, we are the King’s kid. Yet we often forget that we have been invited to have limitless interactions with an infinite God. Whether it is because we take it for granted or we allow ourselves to be wrapped up in earthly things, we often neglect and fail to enjoy this tremendous gift of prayer.
As we take a closer look at Jesus’ life, it quickly becomes apparent that Jesus consistently responded to God the Father’s invitation to interact with Him. Whether Jesus was alone or with others, He was constantly aware of the Father and engaged in continual conversations with Him. Time with God was a critical high priority in Jesus’ life.
In the same way that Jesus interacted with God, so too can we. Prayer is far more than
a one-way monologue, listing our wishes before God. Instead, prayer can be as dynamic, intimate, and engaging as the way we interact with those closest to us. Prayer involves waiting, listening, remembering, affirming, pleading, petitioning, thanking, confessing, worshiping, and so much more.
To get off on the right foot, we must remember a foundational aspect of prayer:
Prayer doesn’t actually begin with us; it begins with God. God has already initiated an interaction with us through a variety of ways and means but most fully through His Son, Jesus. Through faith in Christ, we have become the beloved child of the King, who is always welcoming us into His presence. Because prayer is a continuous response to God’s interaction, we can have confidence that God hears, knows, and is present to our interactions with Him. Though it may feel like we’re the ones initiating the conversation and God is silent, the truth is God is always waiting and inviting us to engage with Him. He is ready, willing, and able to listen, not just to our words but also to our hearts.
Discuss for a moment the ways in which we interact with those closest to us.
Does this description of prayer—our response to God’s constant invitation to interact with Him—differ from your perspective of it? If so, how?
KNOW THE STORY
Though you can find numerous examples of Jesus interacting with God throughout the Bible, probably the most famous prayer in all of Scripture is the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. This is the centerpiece amid the set of foundational teachings on a variety of topics addressed by Christ, commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount.
5 “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and
on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him. 9 Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven,
your name be honored as holy.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done
11 on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. – Matthew 6:5-13
Discuss the differences you see between verses 5-8 and 9-13.
When you read this prayer, what is mentioned that resonates most with what you need from God right now?
This was an excerpt from Disciples Path: The Journey – Volume 3, Session 2. You can purchase it here.