In this passage, Jesus speaks to the nature of prayer. He first gives us a formula for prayer: praise, obedience, a plea for provision, confession, and an appeal for protection. He goes on to tell a story that reminds us that prayer is much more about God and who God is than it is about us and our ability to make prayer “work”. Prayers aren’t answered because we asked for the right things or spoke with eloquence. Answered prayers are a reflection of God’s goodness and God’s vision for a world that aligns with God’s values. If that’s the case, there may be times when the answer is different from the one we are seeking.
Can you think of times when you felt your prayers went unanswered? Is it possible there was an answer, but it was different from what you wanted? Have there been times when you were grateful that your prayer wasn’t answered in the way you expected? In what ways does God speak through “differently answered” prayers?
In your prayer time today, meditate on the phrase, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” Consider what that really means and assess your willingness to integrate that into your life.