Needs or wants. How does God show us the difference?
[Steve Myers] We get quite a few letters that ask us, "How should I pray?" We've been going through a series here on BT Daily looking at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 6. And Christ was very specific on telling us how we should pray, how to have a relationship with God. And He gives several instructions. So we've been going through those on our dailies and today it brings us to another point that Christ makes specifically about how to pray.
[Darris McNeely] In verse 8 of Matthew chapter 6, He tells them, His disciples, He says, "Therefore do not be like them," and He was speaking in the previous verse about hypocrites who pray with vain repetitions. He says, "Do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:8) So, again, here at this point He begins to really introduce the concept that prayer is to our Father. It's a father son relationship. And He's talking…or daughter…And He's talking in a relationship that our God, our Father knows already what we need.
[Steve Myers] So, you might say, well…
[Darris McNeely]Why ask?
[Steve Myers] Yeah, why do I have to ask Him that if He knows what I need? Why doesn't He just give it to me? Wouldn't that just be easier?
[Darris McNeely] Maybe the key, Steve, is in the word 'need' because usually if we're not really attuned to what prayer is all about we're taking to God our wants. And God knows what we need. And it may take a while as we verbalize and work out a prayer in our relationship with God for us to come to understand what we need. God already knows what we need. We think we know what we want. And there's a big difference between a need and a want.
[Steve Myers] I think if you put it on a personal level, He doesn't want to be an absentee Father. He doesn't just want to be out there and put things on us or give us gifts without having a relationship. He wants a relationship with us and so He wants that contact. He wants to be close with us. He knows our needs, but He wants to have that kind of a close family relationship with us.
[Darris McNeely] Think how distant a father would be just to pile a room full of toys and expensive gadgets and…for his child and then walk away from it without having any interaction, just let them have their free reign of that room without any interaction with Him, the Giver of all good things. That wouldn't develop a relationship at all on the human level. God's not like that either.
[Steve Myers] So Christ in a way is pointing out how personal God wants to be with each one of us. He wants to be close to us. He wants to give us those needs. He knows what they are, but He wants to hear from us and He wants to have that close relationship as a father and a son or daughter.
[Darris McNeely] And I think as we come to understand what those needs are ourselves, it helps us to refine our prayers and refine that relationship with God where it's not just a lot of empty words and it's not meaningless words and it more and more comes from the heart, which is really what Christ is wanting His disciples to learn from this model prayer.
[Steve Myers] Yep. And I think it's a great example that God knows us. He knows us when we speak to Him and talk to Him and pray to Him, He knows us. He knows us through and through and it's good to hear it from us. I think that, that we can take that to heart that God does hear and He will answer.
[Darris McNeely] Next time we'll delve deeper into the very heart of this model prayer as we explore the manner and the way by which we are to pray according to Christ's instruction.
[Steve Myers] That's BT Daily. We'll see you next time.