If Only We Realized …
If only we realized that this Almighty God is our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. If only we realized that we are indeed His children and that whenever we pray it is like a child going to its father! He knows all about us; He knows our every need before we tell Him. As the father cares for the child and looks at the child, and is concerned about the child, and anticipates the needs of the child, so is God with respect to all those who are in Christ Jesus. He desires to bless us very much more than we desire to be blessed. He has a view of us. He has a plan and a programme for us, He has an ambition for us, I say it with reverence, which transcends our highest thought and imagination. We must remember that He is our Father. The great, the holy, the almighty God is our Father. He cares for us. He has counted the very hairs of our heard. He has said that nothing can happen to us apart from Him.
Then we must remember what Paul puts so gloriously in Ephesians 3: ‘He is able to to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.’ That is the true notion of prayer, says Christ … You do not say ‘I must spend hours in prayer. I have decided to do it and I must do it.’ You do not say that the way to get a blessing is to spend whole nights in prayer, and that because people will not do so they cannot expect blessing. We must get rid of this mathematical notion of prayer. What we have to do first of all is to realize who God is, what He is, and our relationship to Him.
Finally, we must have confidence. We must come with the simple confidence of a child. We need a childlike faith. We need this assurance that God is truly our Father, and therefore we must rigidly exclude any ideas that we must go on repeating our petitions because it is our repetition that is going to produce the blessing. God likes us to show our keened, our anxiety, and our desire over a thing. He tells us to ‘hunger and thirst after righteousness and to seek it; He tells us to ‘pray and not to faint’; we are told to ‘pray without ceasing’. Yes; but that does not mean mechanical repetitions; it does not mean believing that we shall be heard for our ‘much speaking.’ It does not mean that at all. It means that when I pray I know that God is my Father, and that He delights to bless me, and that He is much more ready to give than I am to receive and that He is always concerned about my welfare. I must get rid of this thought that God is standing between me and my desires and that which is best for me. I must see God as my Father who has purchased my ultimate good in Christ, and is waiting to bless me with His own fullness in Christ Jesus.
So, we exclude, we realize, and then in confidence we make out requests known to God, knowing He knows all about it before we begin to speak. As a father delights that his child should come repeatedly to ask for a ting rather than that the child should say, ‘Father has always done this,’ a the father liked the child to keep on coming because he like the personal contact, so God desires us to come into His presence. But we must not come with doubtful minds; we must now that God is much more ready to give than we are to receive. The result will be that ‘the Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.’ O the blessings that are stored at the right hand of God for God’s children. Shame on us for being paupers when we were meant to be princes; shame on us for so often harboring unworthy, wrong thoughts of God in this matter. It is all due to fear, and because we lack this simplicity, this faith, this confidence, this knowledge of God as our Father. If we but have that, the blessings of God will begin to fall upon us, and may be so overwhelming that with D.L. Moody we shall feel that they are almost more than our physical frames can bear, and cry out with him, saying, ‘Stop God.’
God is able to do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think. Let us believe that and then go to Him in simple confidence.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1976), 308-09.