Waiting To Answer
The life-altering thing is that Jesus, the man who taught us how to come before the Father in this way, would sacrifice his blood in order that the door would be opened.
Prayer is probably one of the first things I learned about. Prayer was a part of my daily life. I remember my whole family gathering in my parent’s room before bedtime; we would each pray and then my dad would close. Some nights it was long, other nights it was short. Some sounded rehearsed and stale, while others expressed new feelings and strong words. Some were sad and full of heartbreak and still, others were broken up by laughter and shenanigans. So, my view of prayer and relationship with prayer sprouted out of these experiences. I was taught how to pray through these experiences. Through these experiences, I was also taught what a personal relationship with God is. I was taught the immense care that our God looks at us with.
What I love about Luke 11:1-13 is Jesus’ desire for us to feel heard by God. He is gracious enough to answer the question of his disciple while still calling them back to the fact that it is not about a formula, timing, or eloquence of speech. Rather, prayer is about recognizing that we have a God who answers the door (v. 10). We have a God who despite our lack of being prepared or mindful of him is ready to answer the door, be found, and give freely the gift of his presence–which answers all of our prayers above and beyond what we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
As I got older I realized (not that I was ever taught otherwise) that God actually hears our prayers. I don’t know why, but I still find myself speaking prayers out of routine. Not because my prayers sound the same, but because I don’t expect a response at all. I remember very vividly going on a mission trip when I was in the youth group at Christ’s Church; one of the men that talked with us pleaded this point: we don’t hear God’s response because we don’t expect him to respond at all. At that moment I knew I was guilty. I did not believe God, if he had the power, would respond to me.
But Jesus’ prayer, and all that it encompasses, starts and ends with the notion that we are being heard and that God is not absent but present with us unfolding the gospel even through the prayers we pray. I, a sinner stained by selfish desires and pride, am heard by God when I seek him in prayer. And the life-altering thing is that Jesus, the man who taught us how to come before the Father in this way, would sacrifice his blood in order that the door would be opened. God listens to our prayers. He listens and continually points us back to his Kingdom, even in prayer. That is why I love the prayer that he leaves us. I love it for the simple reminder it gives me to always pray heaven-minded prayers.