Sometimes I rush into heaven’s throne room with a list. Though God’s Word encourages us to “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God” (heb. 4:16), there are moments when I wonder if
I’m a little too bold. When my mind is filled with the things of this earth, I can only imagine what it looks like in heaven . . .
Imagine the Father, seated on the throne and ruling in glory, “high and exalted.” Around His throne are seraphs, hiding their faces in worship before the awesome wonder of the Ancient of Days (isaiah 6:1-2). And like a child
bursting in without knocking, here I come, making all of my wants and wishes known.
Rough as that picture is, there’s still a grace-filled beauty to it. I am a child, a child of the Father saved by faith in His crucified Son (john 1:10-12). I can come boldly and entirely without fear, because God is “Abba, Father” (rom. 8:15). He knows my daily needs and cares deeply about them. It’s not propriety He’s concerned about—it’s the condition of my heart. And the more my heart matures, the more it will beat in rhythm with His own.
God wants us to grow and “mature” (heb. 6:1) in our understanding of what it means to have a relationship with Him. Andrew Murray explains,
The little child may ask of the father only what it needs for itself; and yet it soon learns to say, “Give some for sister too.” But the grown-up son, who only gives for the father’s interest and takes charge of the father’s business, asks more largely, and gets all that is asked.
Prayers about everyday needs help us maintain perspective. They are not only about things necessary for life on earth—they’re also about our deepest need: a growing relationship with our Father in heaven. Jesus makes this priority for our living and asking very clear: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (matt. 6:33).
God wants us to bring our everyday needs to Him with faith and expectation so that we will live in loving dependence on Him and know the blessing of being caught up in His purposes. He is the “author of life” (acts 3:15), and we exist for Him and because of Him. In His kindness, He wants to bless us and draw us near with love that gives life to our souls. There is no blessing greater than God.
You are my Shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. You let me rest in green meadows; you lead me beside peaceful streams. You renew my strength. You guide me along right paths, bringing honor to your name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. —psalm 23:1-6*
You provided in the past.
O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people. —psalm 68:7-10
All of life depends on you.
The earth is full of your creatures. Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind, both large and small. See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea. They all depend on you to give them food as they need it. When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied. But if you turn away from them, they panic. When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust. When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth. —from psalm 104:24-30
You are with me wherever I go.
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. —psalm 139:7-12
Please keep my needs in your thoughts.
As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior.
O my God, do not delay. —psalm 40:17
You forgive my sins and give me joy.
Though I am overwhelmed by my sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. —from psalm 65:3-4*
Please answer my prayers and take care of me
Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. —psalm 69:16