What do we expect from our Father when we pray? What should we expect from our Father when we pray? Should we actually expect anything from our Father when we pray? Do we have the right to expect anything from God?
These are questions many have asked themselves. We pray to God, whom most of us have not seen – Father, Son or Holy Spirit. What does the Word of God tell us we can expect from our Father when we approach Him in prayer?
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
When we pray to our Father, we can expect Him to keep His Word and reward those who diligently seek (search out, investigate, crave, demand, worship; Strong’s Concordance – 1567) Him. How will God reward us?
But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us that our Father knows what things we have need of, even before we ask him (Matthew 6:8). Jesus taught us when we seek above all else (first, and of primary importance) the kingdom (rule and reign) of God and the righteousness of God, all these things we need God will make sure they are added to us.
2 Peter 1:2-4
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The Apostle Peter tells us, by Holy Spirit, that grace and peace is multiplied to us through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. We obtain the best knowledge of someone by spending quality time with them. When we spend quality time with our Father, our knowledge of and intimate familiarity with Him will increase, and grace and peace will be multiplied to us through the knowledge of our Father that we gain through spending time with Him. Not only this, but our Father’s grace and peace will be multiplied to us as our Father’s divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Beyond even this, we have been given exceeding great and precious promises, so that by these promises (and our Father’s keeping of these promises) we would be partakers of His Divine Nature because He has made the way for us to escape the corruption (sin and death) that is in the world through lust, by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:20
20 For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us.
Furthermore, all the promises of God, in Christ Jesus, are answered to us, “Yes, and amen,” to the glory of God by us, with the fulfillment of His great and precious promises in our lives serving as the witness to the world of the goodness and loving-kindness of our Father.
9 And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.
10 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Think about this for a moment or two. People, who often commit evil, know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our heavenly Father give Holy Spirit to us when we ask Him?
Something also must be said about approaching our Father with the simplicity of a little child. Picture a little child coming to our Father while you read the next verses, please.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday.
As a little child trusts in a selflessly loving father, the child dwells in the house of his father, and is always fed whenever he needs food. A precious little child takes great delight in the presence of their selflessly loving Father, so much so that they want to become just like their father, taking into themselves the joy of having the same desires for their lives as their father has. Little children commit themselves to obeying their fathers and trust their fathers to bring to pass everything they need to grow and become more like him.
It is with this attitude of delight we are to approach our Father in prayer (conversation; listening as well as speaking), trusting our Father will keep His Word, and help us to grow into the full stature of a mature son or daughter of God (John 1:12-13).
I would like to pass on a few practical suggestions that will help along these lines. These suggestions are not new to me, but have been passed along by the wisdom and practice of many of our more mature and experienced brothers and sisters in Christ as being quite useful.
Jesus told us His sheep hear His voice and know His voice and follow Him (Psalm 95:6-8, John 10: 3, 4, 16, 27). We must practice using our “ears to hear” in order to become more adept at hearing the voice of our Lord, our Shepherd, and our Father (Hebrews 5:14). Whenever you get to settle down for a few moments of prayer (conversation) with our Father, bring a pencil or pen, and a notebook with you. Write down what you hear and the impressions and pictures you have. God has given us “ears to hear” and “eyes to see” for the purpose of using them to hear His Voice and observing what He shows us. Write down what you hear and see, in as much detail as possible. Then, when you get the opportunity, search out what you heard and saw in the Holy Scriptures. Meditate (actively think about, and talk over with yourself and God) upon what you see and hear, seeking out its meaning and application. If you find something does not agree with the Scripture, cross it out; however, whatever you find that agrees with Scripture, keep. Take whatever agrees with Scripture to two or three trusted mentors and talk to them about the impressions you had during prayer time. Find out their impressions of what you saw, heard, and studied out. Does it witness to their spirits? Do they have some insight that will help guide you?
As you practice this, you will become more adept at hearing the voice and other communications of our Father with you. This will bring you to a richer prayer life, and a much deeper and more intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father who loves you, and craves your presence even more than you crave His. Father is waiting, and eagerly looking forward to His next bit of time you will spend with Him. What else could we expect from a Father who loves us so much He gave His only begotten Son for us?
All Scripture is given in the American King James Version.
- Jesus’ Model Prayer – Introduction and Hub Page
- Jesus’ Model Prayer: Whose Father?
- Jesus’ Model Prayer: Our Father…What God expects from us
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