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Is God Asking for Something in our Prayers?

When Jesus teaches us to pray, “Our Father, who is in heaven…,” he is encouraging us to bring our daily needs to his Father. The second half of this brief model prayer teaches us to say, “… give us, forgive us… and lead us…” (Haddon Robinson gives the most helpful summary explanation I have ever seen of Matthew 6:9-13 in “Jesus’ Blueprint for Prayer.”)

But here’s a thought I’d like you to test with me. Seems to me that there is something in this model prayer that parallels the way Jesus started a conversation with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4).  He asks her for a drink of water (John 4:7).

In an indirect way, doesn’t God ask something of us (i.e. to desire his honor, to anticipate his kingdom, and to express confidence in his will), before encouraging us to bring our requests to him?

Yet, if this is the case, it can’t be about what the Father needs. What he asks of us seems to be his way of helping us to want more of what he wants to give us.

Against that backdrop, think again about Jesus asking the Samaritan woman for a drink of water. When she wondered why a Jewish man would ask a Samaritan for help, he says,  “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).

I think I hear in the distance a faint, “If you knew why I’m asking you–in your prayers– to want me to be honored…”

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15 Responses to “Is God Asking for Something in our Prayers?”

  1. desert rose says:

    Is God asking for something in our prayers? Isn’t the answer communication. When we read the Bible, isn’t God talking to us. Are there not verses we pray back to God. When we love someone and we are their friend, communication goes without saying – and sometimes with really good friends, words aren’t always necessary because we know each other so well.

    You always keep us thinking.

  2. drkennyg says:

    Isn’t He also asking us to give Him honor and praise? Along with making our requests to Him I think that this might be what He is asking of us.

  3. daisymarygoldr says:

    In my personal relationship with my Creator, God needs me- my love, trust and faith in Him, more than my praises and honor. By asking the Samaritan woman for a drink, Jesus initiates a conversation that exposes her spiritual need which can be satiated by none other than the Messiah Himself who is the ‘living water’ and the ‘living bread’ that came down from Heaven. Not sure if this is what you are looking for…?

  4. Becky M says:

    Jesus said, “our Father” doesn’t that mean his father is our father,too? Jesus also said that God the father gave Him those that came to follow Him. So, it seems to me that approaching God as our Father in heaven is appropriate for he called us to follow His Son.

    As for Hallowed be Thy name, I think that not only is it showing reverence but as a reminder spoke outloud or in thought that God the father is a holy God and we need to be holy, too. Doesn’t the scripture say- I am a holy God and those who follow me need to be holy. I know that is not the exact quote nor have I taken time to look up that scripture but I think those reading your blog, Mart, know that it is in the Bible somewhere.

    I try to say this prayer 1st thing on awakening. I think it sets the day up for my random talking and needs with God. I think of God as my father, not left an orphan, for my own father and mother are gone from my life. So, when I speak with Him I start with Abba Father then proceed with my thoughts and or requests.
    That is how I fill the rest of the prayer with specifics during the day and at the end of the day.

  5. Mart De Haan says:

    Hey, your answers are all better than my question!! Early this a.m. I was intrigued with the idea of praying to give God something that he would treasure instead of just going to him to get something. Your answers reflect that relationship!!

  6. Elaa says:

    So, if we know why God wants us to pray, we would do so readily, right? Kind of ties into yesterday, I think. One prays long prayers, because of the potential results of coming to Him. One friend long ago did suggest to me once that is seemed I was trying to arm twist God for my preferred answers with my prayer and fasting. I don’t know.

    But what about, ‘prayer, supplications and intercessions be made for all men and those in authority?’ It takes time to cover all men. And sometimes I pray Mondays – for Ministers, Marriages, Mothers, Fridays – for Fathers, Families, Wednesday – for upcoming Weddings, Saturday – for Singles, seperated couples – kind of assigning prayer points for the week. That automatically takes time too.

    But I like the idea of ‘if you know who was asking, you would ask yourself (my paraphrase).’ It gives me another angle to approach His throne. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Good Morning everyone, Mart, I am a day late, but just one quick thought the Lord has shown me that he wants from me, and that is to be praying in His will.
    The bible is full of things that God desires for me to pray for, and they will be granted.
    I believe desiring for God to guide my life, being able to be doing something for someone else every day, desiring to be the light someone needs.
    God says if i will ask any thing according to His will, it shall be done.
    Seeking God’s will through prayer i believe is what God wants from me.

  8. Gena says:

    I hadn’t thought of His conversation with the woman at the well to be a kind of prayer, but now that you’ve shown us that – it makes sense and it does show beautifully. I got a sense that Jesus must have smiled as He saw how when it dawned on her who He was and how she ran to share the Good News with others. I bet she ran past the disciplines who were returning with food and whatnot! I can just imagine they looked with that expression “What…?”. By reconigizing who He was and her joy to rush and share… that was the answer to His prayer.

  9. Brother Larry says:

    We sometimes forget that we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. Man should always pray. And not that religious prayer but a honest everyday communication with GOD our father from the heart about his will for our day, taking it day by day. Yes, God is asking something of our prays. Communicating with him we should understand that he ALREADY KNOWS, whatever we may ask, whatever we may think, whatever we may believe. For, God want us to have faith in our prayers.

  10. rickathisbest says:

    My prayers are of thankfullness. Of my redemption. Of His mercy. I feel so small at times. I feel inferior to Him and the Saints, yet I trust the He is faithful to finish the goodness in me the He has started. My prayer life is like a small child right now, always asking. These Daily Reflections are my life-raft. My daily reminder of my sinfulness. I do not despair though, I now have hope.

  11. youngkells1980 says:

    I think the lords prayer is a cry for simplicity. Its plea to come as you are before the Father. My opinion is the text Jesus used was common talk at that time. One of the major problems Jesus faced was those that prayed out of tradition. People at that time worshiped out of tradition. Tradition is good as long as you don’t loose the sincerity. The heart. So Jesus showed the diciples that true prayer does not fall within words but whithin ones heart. So yes I believe God is asking something from us in our prayer, He is asking us to speak with our heart and not our words. Talk to him cause its in our hearts to do so not out of tradition.

  12. rowaite says:

    I sense that prayer is the process of our “giving” credit (glory) to God for what He has already done or given according to His sovereign will. The efficacy of prayer is not the fact that we have prayed so much as that that we have sought and prayed in His will; and to know His will is not a single prayerful event, but a constant communing with Him; i.e. “Pray without ceasing.”

  13. brownsa says:

    Yes, I agree that God does except something from us in prayer. The previous posts show the many and varied ways we do this. But, I don’t see the relationship between the Lord’s Prayer and Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan women at the well. That encounter has always seemed to me a teaching on how to evangalize, not on how to pray.

  14. alsothinking says:

    Jesus said:remember this! let the children come to Me,because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these:in other words keep it simple and talk to God as Your friend and Father and You will be pleasantly surprised as you draw near to Him that God will come near to you in all things

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