Matthew 6.8 reminds us your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
One of the foundational beliefs about God is that He knows everything. If He didn’t know everything how could He really be God, goes the logic.
God confirms this suspicion when He reminds us that He already knows what we need before we ask Him in His teaching on prayer. This information seems counterproductive to encouraging prayer.
Most of us struggle to pray and if God already knows my concerns then why pray goes the conversation in our head to alleviate our guilt over lack of prayer.
Maybe we are not praying properly. Maybe in His instruction on prayer God is trying to teach us how to pray so that our prayers see more responses from God encouraging us to pray even more often.
When God reminds us that He already knows what we need He does this after telling us not to pray to Him with repetitive words babbling on and on as though repetition of words or the volume in which they are spoken will somehow wake Him up and move Him to action.
We are not going to move God by yelling at Him or repeating ourselves like our two year old who begs incessantly for candy at the store. We get angry with that child and God just ignores us when we do the same.
Following His reminder, God gives us a template for prayer, the Lord’s prayer or the Our Father, as we like to call it.
This prayer focuses upon God first, the holiness of His Name or nature. The prayer then moves to the doing of His will on earth as it is in heaven, the objective every human on earth should have if they truly believed in a God Who will one day hold them accountable for their obedience to His will.
While there is a recognition of our need, daily bread, the template quickly shifts back to what is really important, living like God on earth and not as rebels under the influence of the one who has been in rebellion against God since the dawn of humanity.
Our prayers usually focus on what we want not on what God wants.
If our prayers started focusing more on God, Who He is, and on God’s will, what He has commanded the world to do and be, we would no doubt see more of God’s activity in our lives which would encourage us to ask more from Him Who is eager to give His Holy Spirit to His children.