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The whole Word of God directs and inspires us in what we should pray, including the prayer Jesus himself taught us.
The whole Word of God directs us in what we should pray.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Great is the profit to be derived from the sacred Scriptures and their assistance is sufficient for every need. Paul was pointing this out when he said, “Whatever things have been written have been written for our instruction, upon whom the final age of the world has come, that through the patience and the consolation afforded by the Scriptures we may have hope.” (Rom. 15:4; see 1 Cor. 10:11) The divine words, indeed, are a treasury containing every sort of remedy, so that, whether one needs to put down senseless pride, or to quench the fire of concupiscence or to trample on the love of riches, or to despise pain, or to cultivate cheerfulness and acquire patience—in them one may find in abundance the means to do so.
When we’re asking what we should pray about, we instinctively turn to the Bible, because it’s the Bible that inspires us and directs us. So whether it’s Jesus reminding us that we should always pray and not faint or Paul reminding the Philippians not to be anxious about anything but in everything to turn to God in prayer, it is the Bible that keeps us on track. As we pray, we’re really asking God to bring our lives and the lives of others into line with his purposes. And when we pray in that way, we’re able to pray with confidence.
So, we can pray for our world, that men and women might come to believe the gospel. We can pray for laborers to be sent into the harvest field, as Jesus said. We can pray for the work of the gospel in our own lives, that we might become holy and joyful and thankful. And when we do all of this, we need to remember that God is far more willing to bless us than we are even to take the time to ask him.
As Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:11).
God Who Hears, let your living Word shape our desires and our prayers. May it challenge us to pray for things that don’t seem possible. May it inform our view of you as we approach you as beloved sons and daughters. May it drive us to our knees as we recognize our need of you. Amen.