When I was a teenager. I would often go to my dad to ask him for things, usually money. He caught on to this, and I remember approaching him one time in high school, and before I even said anything he looked at me and said, “how much?” He was a great dad and wanted to help me but I know he desired more than just being my personal cash vending machine. I’m sure he desired relationship, communication, and maybe even thanks and gratitude for all he had done for me. I don’t know about how you relate to your dad, but let me ask you this:

How do you relate to your Heavenly Father?

When we look at Scripture, we see that one of the foundational ways we are to relate to God is through prayer. But how often do we go to God in prayer with the same attitude, focus, and expectations that I had when I would go to my earthly father in high school?

For a lot of us, we go to God in prayer when we want something. Our prayer life consists mainly of us taking our wish list to God. We treat God as some sort of cosmic vending machine. It’s true, God does want to meet our needs and asks us to brings our requests before him (Phil. 4:6-7). But, the reality is that He desires more than that, He is worthy of more than that, and He offers us way more than that! Through Christ, God offers us an intimacy and relationship that is more satisfying than any physical or material need He could meet for us. He has made a way through His Son for authentic fellowship and intimacy with us, but too often we seek His blessings rather than the blessing of simply knowing and being with Him!

What would it look like for you to pray, and instead of asking for anything, simply praising God for who He is and thanking Him for what He’s done for you?

What would it look like to fill your time of prayer with the confession of your sin to God, being reminded that He is faithful and just to cleanse you and forgive you (1 John 1:9)?

What would it look like to talk to Him with the sole purpose of intimacy and relationship?

What would it look like for prayer to be a pursuit of the Giver and not just His gifts?

Scripture is chalked full of verses that show us the relational intimacy God desires to have with us and that is now available to us because of the gospel. Here are a few:

  • Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20 ESV)
  • Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.(James 4:8 ESV)
  • …Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. (Ephesians 3:11b-12 ESV)
  • Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-22 ESV)

God desires for us to draw near to Him, and one way we do that is through prayer. However, we miss out on that intimacy when our prayer life is only petition and never adoration, confession, and thanksgiving. We miss out on closeness to God when we skip over “Hallowed be your name” and go right to “Give us this day our daily bread.”

We miss out on closeness to God when we skip over “Hallowed be your name” and go right to “Give us this day our daily bread.” Click To Tweet

God is not Santa Claus. Prayer is not simply hopping in God’s lap and telling him everything we want for Christmas. God is our Heavenly Father who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to die for us and bring us into permanent and intimate relationship with himself. This is our salvation, our hope, our joy, a relationship with God! Eternal life is not just heaven when you die but is, as Jesus said, to “know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

God is not Santa Claus. Prayer is not simply hopping in God’s lap and telling him everything we want for Christmas. Click To Tweet

What a privilege to know God and grow close to Him everyday through His Word to us and our prayers to Him!

Are you taking advantage of this gift?