The most important thing to do when it comes to thinking about prayer is to let God speak. Our approach to prayer (and our practice) is often an amalgam of platitudes, folk religion, and basic biblical truths, rather than an exegetically rigorous and theologically rich account of the teaching of the Bible.
When we actually look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, it is surprisingly simple: to pray is to ask God to do what he has promised to do through Christ.
The core of the gospel is that we have nothing, contribute nothing, bring nothing to God. Prayer, which is made possible by the gospel and shaped by the gospel, works the same way. God gives to us; we don’t give to God. We ask; he gives. Prayer depends on what he has done in us and for us, and on what he will do in us and for us.
Jesus teaches us to pray and to freely ask our Father for the desires of our heart:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9–10)
We can ask for whatever we want, knowing that God will not give us anything bad for us, but only what is good for us (Luke 11:11–13). The apostle Peter exhorts us, “[Cast] all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) — all your anxieties, even your mundane and material ones. Don’t be afraid to ask him for anything, and don’t hold back any burdens from him.
Press play above to watch “Question About God Answering Prayers”.