Depending On Our Father
I’ve been reading a helpful little book on prayer called Enjoying Your Prayer Life by Michael Reeves. It is actually more of a booklet with short chapters. It can easily be used as part of one’s morning devotions.In his chapter titled Depending on God, Reeves says,
“Being a Christian is first and foremost about receiving, asking and depending. It’s when you don’t feel needy (and so when you don’t pray much) that you lose your grip on reality and think or act in an unchristian manner. In fact, as you grow as a Christian, you should feel not more self-sufficiency but ever more needy…. If you feel your need to depend on God…prayer will simply follow from this.”
I appreciate the reminder that Reeves gives about my need of God. What I especially appreciate was one of the terms that he uses. He says that we are “receivers.” To quote, “[Prayer] is our ‘no’ to personal ambition. It is the exercise of faith—that you need God and are a needy receiver” (emphasis added). This is one reason why we may pray so little. We have a lot to do and think we can do it. We are self- sufficient, or so we assume. But let us agree with Reeves that “Prayer is the antithesis of self-dependence.”
The other side of the coin is dependence on our heavenly Father. Says Reeves, “By asking him for things, we exercise our belief that he really is the fountain of all good and that without him we can do nothing that is actually good.”
So we see here two corresponding insights into a delightful prayer life. First we must see ourselves as needy receivers, and, second, we must see our Father as the overflowing fountain of all good. This will help us to be dependent and prayerful.
Reeves closes his chapter with an insightful application. He says, “With this in mind, instead of chasing the idol of productivity, let’s be dependent children—and let the busyness that could keep us from prayer drive us to prayer.”
Well said. We are all busy—super busy. And we want to be productive. But whatever our actual skill and competence may be, let us still remember that we are insufficient, and then let’s pray.