Why Ask For What We Already Have?

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"God ... was pleased to reveal His Son in me..." Gal 1:15/16 (NIV)

When we pray it is not about eloquence or getting our words just right. God hears the cry of our hearts more than the words of our lips. The main thing is to pray. While the Holy Spirit makes our words acceptable to God, our prayers should reflect the great reality of the Christian life: that Jesus Christ lives in us, and His life abounds with everything we need to live a godly life.

Living in that reality will surely affect our praying. It should keep us from lapsing into the habit of asking for things that are ours already. For example how often do we pray, "Lord, give me patience" or "Lord, give me love or peace?" God doesn't dispense patience, love or peace as commodities. He gives us His Son who is all of those things. And all that Christ is is available for all that we need.

God's great purpose is to reveal His Son in us in every situation we go through. If we have need of patience for example, then God wants to display in us the patience of His Son. Paul made this clear in 1 Timothy 1:16 when he asked that God would reveal in him "the unlimited patience of Jesus Christ."

Our problem is that our old nature blocks Christ from being seen in us. If we have need of patience or any of the fruit of the Spirit and ask for these things, God will answer our petitions but He may answer them first by allowing all manner of trials and chastisements into our lives. He uses these to break the dominance of our old self and to get it out of the way. The less of us that people see the more they will see of Jesus.

May we submit willingly to His dealings whatever the cost. John the Baptist knew the way to victory: "He must increase, I must decrease." This is a prayer that God delights to answer because He is most glorified in us when His Son is most revealed in us.

Colin Stott
Global Prayer Coordinator

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