The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Having experienced the mighty power through His miracles, they knew that the source of Jesus’ power and strength came from His relationship with His Holy Father. The disciples didn’t ask Him to teach them to preach, but to pray. They wanted this same kind of relationship.
Don’t all believers desire a closer relationship with God? The Bible tells us that God is rich in mercy to those who call on Him. But how many of us recognize prayer as two-way communication? Too many of us do all the talking and asking, and then we wonder why our lives are not going the way we think they should. We strive to handle all of life’s challenges on our own, and only when we mess things up do we turn to Him for help. Doesn’t God already know all our needs? So why do we need to ask? God wants us to humble ourselves and put our trust in Him, admitting that we need Him in our lives. Sometimes He allows us to stumble and fall so that we must look up to Him in humility from our knees.
It is a mistaken belief that God answers all prayers of those who believe in Him. If we, as sinners, petition for His mercy while we have yet to seek his forgiveness for our sins, then He will turn a deaf ear to our pleas. And we are all sinners, every day. So we must pray that He will reveal our sins to us so that we can ask forgiveness for them. It is no wonder so many people don’t believe God answers prayers. He has to hear them first, and the first one He needs to hear is the one seeking atonement.
The power of prayer comes through the Holy Spirit. Are we tuned in to God’s voice so that we recognize the Holy Spirit? Whether His voice comes to us loud and clear, a distinctive voice we cannot deny, or whether it is a tiny, niggling on our conscience, we must learn to tune in and to obey. New mothers often get little sleep the first few weeks of their newborn’s life, not because the baby isn’t sleeping, but because the moms are so attuned to the slightest noise. This is how we should be focused on God’s voice. Perhaps if we actively sought His voice at all times, we would more easily recognize it and learn to follow His direction. Imagine what powerful lives we could lead if all believers learned to heed his voice!
I can’t even begin to fathom the change in America if all God’s people started actively seeking a closer relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit. If all believers would begin each day asking Him to show us our sinful ways so that we might turn away from them and then ask forgiveness for those sins, imagine the smile on His face! I believe He wants to shower us with blessings, more than we could imagine, if we just learn to trust in Him in all things. If we want to see a stronger country, to see change for the better, then that change must start at home -- with you, with me.
God of grace and God of glory, we humble ourselves before you this day. We know we have sinned. Reveal all our sins to us, Lord, so that we might seek Your forgiveness and turn from our wayward paths. Help us to tune in to Your voice, to seek Your guidance and to be willing to follow the direction You choose for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen (repeat as often as needed)