Insincere, impure, and unrighteous reasons for prayer are unbecoming of its intended recipient. God is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3); therefore, our reasons for seeking His glorious and august audience ought to be sincere, pure, and befitting. In Jesus’ model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), He enunciates three righteous reasons for prayer.
In the past two blogs, we focused on the great virtues prayer requires and refines and the great victories begun in prayer’s closet. Today, let’s consider a third righteous reason—your greatest needs are perfectly met in prayer.
- Family. As a praying disciple of Christ, you have what every child needs—a loving Father who passionately loves and cares for His children.
- Worship. “Hallowed be Thy name”. The Greek language displays an insightful understanding of human nature. Anthropos is used to designate humanity. Its basic idea is “worshiping one”. Every human heart has an altar and seeks an object for its worship. Jehovah truly deserves the reverence and adoration of earth’s “worshiping ones”.
- Citizenship. Each of us desires to belong to a cause or country bigger than ourselves. God’s kingdom—with its citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20)—is just what we long for. It provides us with a powerful King who protects His loyal subjects, His holy nation (1 Peter 2:9).
- Service. Because of our limitations, we are only suited to be servants, either of righteousness or unrighteousness (Romans 6:16-22). We need a master whose will is wise and loving—beneficial to us, not destructive. In God we have a Master who openly rewards His servants who do His will on earth as it is done in heaven.
- Provisions. Our world has physical and spiritual forces vastly superior to our frailties. Like sheep, we need an ever-vigilant Shepherd who lovingly and generously serves as our benefactor. God does precisely this for us—with daily bread for our bodies and forgiven debts for our souls.
- Spiritual wealth. As a sinner, we are bankrupt paupers. Our spiritual debts and IOUs are hopelessly extreme (see Matthew 18:24-25). Our only hope is a wealthy creditor will be merciful to us. God is.
- Pilgrimage. For life to genuinely have true fulfillment, we need an eternal, worthwhile destination. We need safe passage on a danger-filled mission. We need continual guidance away from temptation’s snares and on to the path of safety. Jehovah is an ever reliable and wise Guide. He will guide with His counsel and afterward receive us in to glory (Psalm 73:24).
- Redemption. Because sin enslaves, sinners need a redeemer. God provides deliverance—not just from sin but also from the evil one who is the source of sin.
Family. Worship. Citizenship. Service. Provisions. Wealth. Pilgrimage. Redemption.
Oh, how humanity’s greatest needs are perfectly met in prayer’s closet!