In the church, we are taught from an early age to pray for the things we and our loved ones need. Indeed, Scripture says to “let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). But, if the God we serve is omniscient (all-knowing), then why do we need to tell Him what it is we (or others) need?
You see, I know my son really well. I can often know what he is thinking simply by looking at his face. I almost always know what he needs before he ever even says anything to me. That is what parents are for, right? However, there is a really big difference between me knowing my son because I am his mother and me knowing my son because he opened his life up to me. When he comes to me and tells me about his day, asks me for things that he needs, or asks for my advice on a struggle he is having, he creates intimacy with me. He makes himself vulnerable to possible rejection, unmet needs, or humiliation. His coming to me and opening up to me is a form of trust that builds relationship with me. We are close because we share ourselves with one another.
And so it is with God. Sure, he knows us better than we know ourselves. But, when we come to Him and ask for help, advice, or anything else, we are opening up trust, relationship, and intimacy with Him.
But here is the even better part.
Just as I reciprocate my relationship with my son, opening my own heart and thoughts to my him, God also opens Himself to be known by us! In his Word, He shares with us his heart and his thoughts. But, He also shares with us in our time of prayer. So, I encourage you to tell God all about your day, your needs, your desires, hopes, and disappointments. But, also take a moment to be still and silent. You probably won’t hear an audible voice, but you might be surprised at what your heart hears when you seek God with your whole self.
Patricia Taylor is Editor for Soul Care Collective and a member of the Seedbed Farm Team.