Self Reliance or God Reliance?

Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship
November 2018

photo courtesy of flickr

Dear Fellow Disciple-Maker,

A friend told me about a memorable family dinner. During their evening meal, his two-year-old daughter wanted to butter her own bread. She picked up a dinner knife and reached across the table for the stick of butter which had just been removed from the refrigerator. Her father saw where this was headed and tried to help her. The self-determined child rejected his interference and insisted, "I want to do it myself."

The butter was hard as rock. Nevertheless, the little girl managed to put a large piece of butter in the middle her bread. Her repeated attempts to spread the butter around quickly made a big hole. To no one's surprise, she soon found herself staring at a plate full of shredded bread and chunks of butter. Upon reviewing the mess she had made, she turned to her father and said, "Daddy, will you do it?"

Self reliance or God reliance?

People naturally assume they can manage most things without help. As a result, the idea of relying on God never enters their minds until something goes wrong. A lack of praying exposes the "I can do it myself" spirit.

Our prayers immediately and directly engage the living God. Whatever we are not praying about we are doing ourselves. This explains why prayer is an expectation of grace that Jesus has for his followers. Prayer teaches dependence. Relying on God is saying, "Daddy will you do it?"

How we See God

In Luke 11, Jesus taught his disciples what is commonly known as "The Lord’s Prayer." The way we pray is directly tied to the way we see God. That is why Jesus gave us a preformed set of words that would gently correct our distorted concepts of God. These phrases are like the framing of a house. It is a basic outline for how to look at God, ourselves and spiritual warfare.

The most important thing about us is something no one else will ever see – our hidden communion with God; when in prayer we join our spirit with the Spirit of God. Andrew Murray writes, "The disciples never asked Jesus to teach them how to preach, only how to pray. To know how to speak to God is more important than knowing how to speak to man."

Heaven is Always Open

When you pray, never assume that God is being bothered by your requests. Don't ever think that you are imposing. Our prayers never wake God up. Whatever the need, call on the name of the Lord. Boldly approach the throne of grace. That is the privilege of being child of God.

When we ask, God will answer. When we seek, God will bless. When we knock, God will open the door. Heaven is always open. The privilege of prayer is that we can engage immediately and directly with the one who sees and cares about our situation.

Author:Paul Schlieker

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