Genesis 24:45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.'”
This immediately brings to mind what God said to Isaiah: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24) And that, of course, was echoed by what Jesus said: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) This is part of the mystery of prayer: we can never say anything to God that He doesn’t already know. However, our wills are important. The strength of our will is obviously a factor, because too many people say they love God but let other things take priority over Him. However, if our hearts are focused on Him, He is going to supply everything we need to follow through in our obedience. I think the reason we are told to ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7) is that in doing so we are clarifying in our own hearts what it is that we need and desire. At the same time, God knows far better than we do what is good for us, and He is too good a Father either to give us bad stuff or to spoil us, depriving us of the growth that comes from applying ourselves. Because it is a matter of our wills He does let us choose wrongly, but that’s not the same thing as answering prayer with something bad. All of this should give us great boldness in prayer, because we know that God not only hears everything, He is eager to give us what is best for us. (Luke 12:32)
The more I pray and the more I learn about prayer, the greater the whole mystery becomes. I think it all comes down to the mystery of God’s love. Why would He love us so much? Our finite human minds can’t wrap themselves around the magnitude of God’s love, and so we can’t make sense of prayer. I think that’s why He had to build the impulse to pray into us when He created us, because otherwise we would logically conclude it was no use. I am to pray, and I am to lead and teach others to pray, not because I understand it perfectly by any means, but because I have tasted God’s love and grace and know that He wants us to pray. It is in prayer that we develop intimacy with our Creator, Father God, and that intimacy is the purpose for which He created us.
Father, thank You for prayer. Thank You for the chance to get to know You as more than an abstract concept or words on a page. Thank You for speaking to my heart, as I read the Bible and in so many other ways as well. It is still incredible that You desire such a relationship with me, but I am deeply, deeply grateful. Help me be increasingly effective in drawing others into Your family, Your inner circle, not just for their blessing but because You desire them to be close to You as well. May I not just delight in You, but cause You to delight in me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!