In his book The God You Can Know, author Dan DeHaan writes about a common thread that unifies the many questions that people have about God, His will, and various ethical and moral issues in life. He believed that many of the concerns about these topics come from a lack of understanding the true character and nature of God.
I believe DeHaan is correct in his assessment, especially as it relates to prayer. We know we need to pray. We may even truly believe in the power of prayer, and the ability of God to answer prayer. And yet, we often do not pray. Could this be due to a faulty or incomplete understanding of God’s character? At times we may relate to God as if He were the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company and we are but a low level employee. We don’t want to concern Him with our needs. He is too busy to be bothered. He may not even know we exist. And yet, as we survey Scripture we see that nothing could be further from the truth.
In Luke 11 Jesus gives three illustrations that speak to God’s character as it relates to prayer. He reminds us that God wants us to approach Him with shameless boldness with our requests. He wants us to continually ask, seek, and knock according to His will trusting that He will answer. And He reminds us that we are not an entry level employee but a son or daughter of the King. God is our Father, and He not only knows what is best for us but promises to always act for our good and His glory. Always.
So, there it is, in black and white. These promises are there for us to read, believe, and put into action. And yet, we often do not feel them. In other words we sometimes do not feel them to be true. In times such as these it is incredibly important to not allow our theology to be governed by our feelings. Feelings make for a horrible theological filter. Instead we must preach to how we feel and allow truth to shape our thoughts and feelings. We must listen to the truth of God found in His Word more than how we feel.
So when we feel like God is distant, listen to the Word. When we feel like He doesn’t care, listen to the Word. When we feel like God will never answer, listen to the Word. We must continue to trust that God loves us more than we can imagine. He is powerful and sovereign to save. And He will ALWAYS answer for our good and His glory. And then we continue to pray.
So, in light of these truths in Luke 11, what do you need to be praying for?