Will you?

I recently read an article about revitalizing your prayer life by changing the way you petition the Lord. The author sensibly pointed out that, when we ask our friends to do something for us, we rarely say something like, “And, Miss King, I ask that you would sit by me in church today, and I ask that it would be to the right of me.” Um, awkward! But we so often begin our requests to the Lord with, “Lord, we ask,” or, “Lord, I pray,” phrasing our questions as a statement!

The author of the article suggests that we ask our Heavenly Father in the same way we would ask our earthly fathers: “Will you?”

It’s a tiny change, but I’ve been amazed at how just changing a single phrase has increased my feeling of humility before a sovereign God, and my sense of dependence on His will. When I pray, “Lord, will you provide for my finances? Will you guide me as I look for a good job?” it’s easier for me to hear my loving Abba Father saying, “Yes, I will!” My prayer time becomes genuine communication between my Lord and me, rather than a recitation of needs.

Will you give it a try?

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8 thoughts on “Will you?

  1. This is a very helpfull point you make, thankyou. This may also change our definition of “answer to prayer” which I think myself and some leaders have been confused about. That and the belief God will always “answer our prayers”. What if Gods answer to the prayer is sometimes no, and not yes? It totally changes the whole concept of prayer that I was tought.

  2. The issue isn't asking a question — in fact, asking a question acknowledges that we DON'T know the answer! I think, “Please provide for my finances,” or whatever is good, too, but phrasing our requests as questions (as opposed to statements like “I ask…” which focuses on me) was something I'd never thought of before.

  3. And Jonny, I'm glad that the Lord's answer to my prayers is “No” a lot of the time, because I rarely know what's best for my sanctification, and he always does. God forbid that he should ever grant me a sinful request!

    It just goes to show that the main purpose for prayer isn't to use God as a vending machine or a wishing well, but to cultivate a deeper relationship with Him.

  4. So, I woke up this morning thinking about this, and I wondered . . .
    what about the Lord's Prayer? As Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He didn't use questions at all. He used COMMANDS: “give us . . . forgive us . . .lead us not . . . deliver us”.
    I agree with you that we need to remember that we are talking to the Lord of the Universe when we pray, but I'm not so sure that God is as concerned with HOW we pray, than THAT we pray. That the One Who made Heaven and earth would even care to spend time with me is somewhat overwhelming. That He would listen to my babblings and love me is beyond reason.
    WOW! What an incredible privilege!

  5. Hey, mom… It's true that any way we pray is good if our attitudes are right (or even if they're not! But God'll getcha), but this is more an exercise to make us think. I tend to get into a pattern in the way I pray, and anything that breaks me out of a “Hail Mary” devotional life is good. No method is perfect, but this was very helpful to me.

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