Do your prayers Please God?
5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites… 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9“This, then, is how you should pray… ‘Our Father in heaven,” Matthew 6:5-9
Jesus takes time with his disciples and he teaches them how to pray. I believe the disciples had seen Jesus go to a solitude place more often to speak to his father in heaven through prayer and thus, they too had a desire to know how to speak to him just as he did. Prayer is a vital and essential aspect in a Christian’s life and ought to be taken seriously. I do believe that we all pray and more often I know we all remember to pray more earnestly when we are in situations beyond our strength and thus we turn to God in prayer asking for his intervention. Ideally, is that the way it ought to be? No! Paul urges the Ephesians/as well as us to “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:18. Thus, we should pray on all occasions not only when we are in trouble or in need.
Jesus teaches his disciples to pray and he gives them a way to pray. When you read the Lord’s Prayer, you get to know the order. The question I ask is; when you pray, do you pray in the manner that will please God to answer or honour your prayers? Let’s look at Solomon’s prayer when he became King of Israel in 1 Kings 3:5-10. This is what the bible says; 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 6 Solomon answered, 7-8 ”And now here I am: God, my God, you have made me, your servant, ruler of the kingdom in place of David my father. I’m too young for this, a mere child! I don’t know the ropes; hardly know the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of this job. And here I am, set down in the middle of the people you’ve chosen, a great people—far too many to ever count. 9 ”Here’s what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?” 10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.” Note what the bible says in verse 10… “It pleased God”
Many times when we pray, we put our affairs ahead of God’s agenda and put or needs and will ahead of God’s. If you take a clear look at Solomon’s prayer, he put his needs and desires behind and asked God to guide him in the task that was ahead of him. In simple, he put God’s work or ministry ahead of him. Leading the children of God wasn’t easy, thus Solomon had to ask God for the wisdom. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all its righteousness and all the other things will be added unto you” This clearly means that when we place God ahead of our personal issues desires and will; He will go ahead and meet even our heart’s desires and will. This is so evident in Solomon’s prayer. He asked God for wisdom to govern his people and he didn’t ask God to give him power, long life, wealth or honour but when God was pleased with the prayer that he made, He gave him more than what he could have asked.
When we pray, many times we tend to think that God won’t honour our prayers. God is just and he knows what we do need even before we ask of him. Yet when we pray or ask with wrong motives as James says in James4:3; we won’t receive what we need. James urges us to pray as per the will of God as well as in the right motive. You will come to realize that apart from sin, the biggest hindrance to God answering our prayers is selfishness and praying with the wrong motives and desires. Do we seek to know God’s will when we pray? Remember Jesus saying “seek ye first…” The kingdom of God is ruled or operates as per the will of God. Thus as we pray in the Lord’s Prayer: “…thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” means that we ought to be ready to comply with the will of God in our lives, circumstances and situations. You will notice that when Jesus taught his disciples how to pray; he starts by acknowledging God’s will and placing God’s business first then lastly comes the prayer for our needs and wishes but woe unto us because we first pray as per our will (our needs first) then afterwards is when we as God ‘nevertheless your will be done’.
In simple words, we come with option ‘B’ to God when we pray and at times, we give God some terms and conditions to work with as per what we need. How I do pray that we will always trust God and know that whatever we ask of him, He hears and will answer us if only our prayer pleases him. If we believe that God hears prayer as per Psalms 65:2 and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), then let’s be sure we offer the kind of “Prayer That Pleases God”!