To understand the Lord’s Prayer, it’s important to notice what comes just before it. Jesus prefaces his model prayer with this important truth: “Your Father in Heaven already knows what you need” (Matthew 6:8).

Now, that’s very good news, because I have a lot of needs. Problems at work. Yep. I have some. Family issues? Yeah, those, too. Health concerns? Check. Money and expenses? Always.

I’m a person with a list of needs. You are too, I’m sure. And, Jesus tells us, God already knows all about our needs. But if that is true — and it is — what is the point of prayer?

It’s as if He is saying, “Prayer is not about your list, people! It’s about something much more important.

More important than my list? Yes! More important in two deep ways.

First, prayer is about understanding that our lives must be directed toward the will of God, for His kingdom to come. As His children we are to seek His will above our own needs.

Second, we do have needs and prayer is depending on God to meet them. Every day, we need His provision, protection, and preservation. Prayer is placing ourselves into His care for whatever may come.

However, we must realize our needs will be met according to His perfect will, which is, in the long run, better for us than ours. A person who understands these principles can wisely pray through even a long list of needs. A person who does not grasp these truths only heaps up useless words when they pray through their list.

Father, keep me focused on what truly matters. I depend on you today for all I need. Thank you that you know every detail. I trust myself into your care. Amen.

Go Deeper — Read this verse: "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24). Reflect on how God’s replies have been true in your life.

Tags: The Lord's Prayer Matthew 6
Photo Credit: Kate Remmer