Recently I received a call from my daughter, who was a few hours away with her friends; they were going to attend a concert. They had excitedly purchased tickets months in advance, but she told me that the tickets were fake, and they had to buy new tickets. She needed my help, and I was ready to assist.

My child, who has seen me fail, lose patience, and disappoint her sometimes, still trusted her mom. She knew I would want to help her. Despite my mistakes over the years, I have managed to communicate this to my kids.

Isn’t it odd that we know this about our earthly relationships, but we often forget that it’s also true about God? Matthew 7:9–11 says: “Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

If I know that God is a good Father, it makes it easier to come to Him in prayer. He knows my needs, but He is also touched by my acknowledgement of Him as my Father. I think sometimes I, and maybe you, become intimidated by prayer, thinking that there are special words or a precise formula that will make God respond in the way I desire.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He taught them the Lord’s Prayer 1, which speaks of surrender, dependence, mercy, and guidance. It fully acknowledges our need for God. In this same chapter Jesus says that God knows what we need before we ask Him 2.

Whenever I feel like prayer is complicated or that I’m not “getting it right,” I go back to the Lord’s Prayer. I remember that I want His will. I remember that I rely on Him for my daily needs. I remember that I need forgiveness, even as I need His strength to forgive others. I remember that I need Him to keep me from temptation.

God wants to be in relationship with us. He wants prayer to be the way we communicate with Him. He wants us to trust Him, because He is our good Father, and He wants what is good for us.

  1. Matthew 6:9–13
  2. Matthew 6:8