There are some questions that I cannot imagine my son or daughter ever asking.
“Daddy, will you please love me today?”
“Daddy, can I be your son/daughter today?”
There are days when they might think they need to ask questions like, “Daddy, will you protect me? Daddy will you provide for me?” But those are just as ludicrous as the first ones. And I’m fallen. I’m a pale reflection of our heavenly Father.
Yet, why are our prayers sometimes consumed by pleading for things that we already have?
“Jesus, be my hope”
“Jesus. be my guide”
“Jesus, be my strength”
“Jesus, be my comfort”
Those aren’t things that we need to plead for. Those are things that we need to proclaim. “Jesus, you ARE my hope”. “Jesus you ARE my guide”. “Jesus, you ARE my strength.” “Jesus, you ARE my comfort”. Perhaps, what needs to be pleaded is what Paul pleaded for in his letter to the Ephesians; namely, that the Lord would open our eyes to see His already given provision.
My point is not to rebuke people for praying the wrong way. That’d be silly. My point is to encourage you to pray more boldly. It effects my prayers if I think I have to plead for an audience when Christ has already secured my entrance. This really is another form of proclaiming the gospel to yourself.
Consider both of these prayers. What do each of them do to your heart?
First: Lord, be my strength today. I am so weak and frail. I really need you to make me strong today. Things seem so out of control and I’m not sure that I can handle it. So, I’m pleading with you for strength. I need your strength and not my own. I cannot do it without you Jesus. So I’m humbly asking Lord if you would be my strength in this day.
Second: Jesus, I know that you are my strength. Yet, I feel so frail this morning. Indeed I am frail. But you are not. And in you I have everything that I need for life and godliness. I pray that you might open my eyes to your strength and your power and your provision for me. You are mighty and you redeem your people with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. You have shown me your power and your strength in the past. You have created the heavens and you hold them in the palm of your hand. Before you the nations and all their idols will melt like wax before the splendor of your glory. You are very strong and none can pluck me from your powerful hand.
See the difference?