This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9–10
How do you understand a partnership? Normally a good partnership consists of people working together, communicating well, sharing tasks, complementing one another’s abilities, and sharing work and reward. Is this how you see your life with God? Perhaps you might not think of yourself as partnering with God: firstly, it’s a rather unequal partnership; secondly, communication seems difficult; and, thirdly, it’s not clear how God wants you to partner with Him.
But to think this way is to ignore an essential pattern of scripture and perhaps to miss the point of prayer.
God made humans to work with Him, not for Him. God wants people to be His co-workers, irrespective of their ability but depending on their availability. All the great servants in the Bible were people He chose to be a co-worker: Moses, Elijah, Nehemiah, and Peter to name a few. God did not need them to work for Him, He wanted them to work with Him and was prepared to wait until they were listening and learning… that is where prayer comes in.
Prayer is neither a matter of telling God our plans and hoping He will bless them nor making a series of well-meaning requests, but finding out His plan, so we know what to ask for in the first place.
As Jesus showed us, we are to seek out God’s heart for His Kingdom and how this involves us. Prayer is a listening, working partnership.
Of course, it’s an unequal partnership but that doesn’t seem to bother God: He is delighted with our stumbling, weak-willed attempts to work with Him. In thinking of your life or a person you want to pray for, ask God what is on His heart, what are His plans, and what does He feel? Gradually you will find your mind becoming clearer and you will know what to pray for and, indeed, pray powerfully.
Let us practice to be God’s partners by:
- Thanking Father for the gift of being called to work with Him and seek His heart; and,
- Seeking Father God, seeking His Kingdom above all, seeking His heart and will today.