Mike Novotny - Am I Supposed to Pray Boldly or Humbly?
I've heard conflicting talk about how we are to pray to God. Are we supposed to pray boldly or humbly or both at the same time? Can you please explain how we are to pray? You know, prayer, when you think of it, is kind of a funny thing. I've had people, like, you know, we fold our hands now and we close our eyes and our minds are going in a thousand directions. What are you supposed to do and how do you talk to God and he doesn't talk back and how exactly does that all work?
So I love this question. I think the two words that this person uses, boldly and humbly, are kind of the perfect, do you remember a Venn Diagram from your school years? You know, here's the bold circle and here's the humble circle and there's like this spot where they overlap? Boldly and humbly is a great recipe to pray to God. Here's where the humbly comes in. No offense, you don't know nothing and neither do I. I mean, when I ask God, "Could I get this job?" And "Will the weather work out?" And, "Will this all work in my life?" I know nothing about tomorrow and neither do you and so, when we pray humbly, we say things like "God, you know everything. God, you can see the future. God, you created all things and you love me more than I'll ever know and so, I'm going to pray that your will be done and your kingdom will come", right?
Jesus taught us in, what, Matthew 6 to pray the Lord's Prayer: "Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done. If it is your will, heavenly Father." And so you don't go like demanding that God has to do what you want because you have to come humbly; what do we know. And yet, I love that first part; boldly. If you're taking notes for your Bible passages, write down Hebrews 4 because Hebrew 4 has these amazing words. Verse 16 says, "Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence."
Let's approach the throne, like let's approach the King, with confidence so that, "we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." The Bible teaches that if Jesus forgave you of all of your sins and he turned God from some distant king and lord into your perfect loving Father in heaven, then you can be as bold as a three-year-old is on her daddy's lap, right? My kids ask me for the world, right? "Daddy, can we get this?" "Daddy, can we buy that?" "Daddy, can we do this?" because they know that I love them so they come with boldness and so, I want you to pray the same way. So here's an example:
Dear God, we want 2021 to be amazing but what do we know? We sometimes think that an easy year would be a better year but sometimes you grow us through the hard stuff and you have to strip things out of our hands for us to seek you with our whole heart; something we never would have done if all the days were good. And so, God, grow us in the year to come. I know that you want to. You promised it in your word so whatever it takes, God, we submit to your ways and know that you will always work for our eternal good. We pray this confidently as your forgiven children and we pray in Jesus' name, amen.