Mathews 7:7-11, “[7] Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. [8] For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. [9] Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? [10] Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? [11] 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 good gifts to those who ask him!”

The above passage is one of the most famous passages in the Bible, one that is oft shared, often discussed, turned into songs, designed as a poster / painting. Jesus encourages His disciples to ask, seek and knock. He then went on to say, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

What an amazing and powerful statement which Jesus had made. Before this the people of Israel saw God as an Almighty King, one who gave them the Ten Commandments, the various ordinances which they needed to follow.

But Jesus changed that by encouraging his disciples to address God as ‘Father’!

He even taught them how to pray which is well articulated in Mathews 6:9-13, “[9] This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, [10] your kingdom come, your will be done,     on earth as it is in heaven. [11] Give us today our daily bread. [12] And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. [13] And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”

What a beautiful prayer, one which connected us to God as His sons and daughters.

Unfortunately, our prayers today have stopped resounding of this reverence towards the God Almighty, our Father and have turned more like an order to a Genie!

How often do our prayers sound like, “bless my family”, “bless my finances”, “heal my spouse”, “provide for our need”, “provide finances for a new car”, we even at times pray for the peace in the world, that Lord provides for the poor and hungry, etc etc. and after sharing our list of requirements we say ‘Amen’ expecting all our demands be met by the Genie to whom to prayed.

Not spending time in God’s presence, not thanking God for all He has done, not spending enough time in praising His name for all His wonderful mercies just asking what we desire.

Don’t get me wrong, Jesus himself said, ‘ask’ and hence logically asking is not wrong. But what we miss out is that before saying, ‘ask, seek, knock’ in Mathews chapter 7, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in Mathews chapter 6.

The Lord’s prayer is all about giving reverence to our Father in Heaven. Honoring Him, respecting Him, submitting ourselves in His hand when we say, “Your will be done”.

Mathews 6:25-34 says, “[25] Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? [26] Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? [27] Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? [28] And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. [29] Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. [30] If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? [31] So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [32] For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. [33] But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. [34] Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Amazing!! our Father knows about our every need even before we realize that we need it. So even if we do not ask them in prayer but seek after God’s kingdom and His righteousness, our Father would still bless us with what we need.

So should we stop praying for our needs? Stop praying for healing? Stop praying for protection & blessings?

No, never. We should pray; however, it is the ‘HOW’ of our prayer which needs to change. If the ‘How’ of our prayer changes, the entity to whom we are addressing our prayer changes from a Genie to our Father!

So how should we pray? Though Jesus already showed that in the Lord’s prayer, however unfortunately in today’s time it has been confined to be spoken only in Churches or at bedtime, but it does give us the roadmap of How to pray.

Following are the components which should be part of every prayer for it to be addressed to our Father and not to a Genie.

Grateful Heart: When we sit to pray we should start by speaking about the goodness of God, thanking Him for all His providence, for all His wonderful gifts and for all His tender mercies. Most of David’s psalms start with praising God for all that He has done. It was intentional and came out of a grateful heart.

Acknowledging His dominion: the major difference between praying to a Genie and praying to our Father is the dominion. While Genie is supposed to be a slave our Father is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Just imagine you come in front of the President of the Country with your petition, would it be with boldness (as if it is your right to ask) or would it be with meekness? Same difference, when we pray to God, we should understand that it is the Lord of Lords in whose presence we are making our petition. This should automatically change the ‘tone’ of your prayer. Also, we need to understand that not everything that we ask maybe in His will for us. Our prayers should be inline with His will. While praying we need to surrender our request to Him and trust that He will provide nothing but the best to us.

Presenting our petition: Once we thank God for all His goodness and acknowledge His dominion, we present our petition to Him, not as an ‘order’ but as a request, seeking His guidance whether it is in His will for us

Believe that He will provide: James 1:6 says, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” After you present your petition to God Almighty, you need to close the prayer with a firm belief that your prayer is heard and God would answer your prayer. Believe in Him & wait patiently for His answer.

Once we change our way of praying, we would see a change in the way God works in our situations.

‘Ask’ ‘Knock’ ‘Seek’

God Bless You!

Your Brother in Christ

Nikunj