By Andy Petry, National Director of The Landing
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Matthew 6:8 (NIV)
Adversity and discouragement seem to go hand in hand. Whether they come in the form of hard medical diagnosis, some sort of family crisis, financial troubles, addiction and dysfunctional behaviors, or a world-wide pandemic, tough times can zap our strength, courage, and resolve, and can leave us feeling exhausted and defeated. Thinking back on this past year, I’ve had to admit that I’ve been pushed and stretched in a lot of different ways that I didn’t expect, nor want. And while I wouldn’t have chosen it myself (I don’t think any of us would’ve either), one undeniable fruit of this tough time has been that it’s forced me to press in the Lord and my own recovery journey. It’s taught me again just how much God is aware of our situation, how he works in the midst of it all, and how he gives us what we need to grow more into the image of Jesus.
I learned the Lord’s Prayer as I grew up in the church and recited the prayer along with everybody else. For a long time, I didn’t really understand what I was praying, and got some of the words wrong. But as I’ve grown in my relationship with Jesus, that prayer has come to mean more and more to me. “Your Kingdom come” (not mine); “your will be done” (not mine); help me forgive those I need to forgive; “lead (me) not into temptation”; and my favorite part—“give us today our daily bread” or in other words, “Lord, sustain me today with what I need” (Matthew 6:10-13 NIV).
This prayer has been a huge part of my recovery and a rock of his truth to lean on in these hard times. But one thing I never noticed before is one of the reasons Jesus encourages us to pray this prayer.
In Matthew 6:8, Jesus tells us this before introducing the Lord’s Prayer:
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (NIV).
God knows what we need before we even ask him. Do you feel the weight of that truth? God sees me. God sees you. He knows the burdens we carry and what we need to sustain us today. What a sweet promise, especially in the midst of our attempts to live as broken people in this broken, messed up world.
Because God sees and knows us, we can pray…Your Kingdom come, not mine… Your will be done, not mine…help me forgive those I need to forgive…lead me not into temptation…God, give me today what I need to sustain me as I follow you. Praying this way frees us from our need to control the outside situations we face and allows us to simply trust and follow our Good, Heavenly Father.