The Pursuit



When I was six I met my first best friend. His name was also Ryan. We were in
the same first grade class. We both loved Hot Wheels, Star Wars, and the Dukes
of Hazard. Those are the building blocks of great friendship, right? Trouble
with that theory is, I still like all three of those things, but Ryan and I are
not friends anymore. What happened? Well, we stopped talking. Amazing how that
happens, isn’t it? One day the conversation just came to a close. That can
happen with you and God too.

God is not going to wake up one morning and decide not to speak to you
anymore. He wants to talk to you every day. The thing is, you need to talk to
Him. God will never ever give up on you or stop having a relationship with you.
You are now God’s child and there is nothing you could do or not do that could
make you stop being God’s child. But, for your relationship with God to grow and
develop, you need to continue to spend time with God by reading the Bible and
talking to Him. Talking to God is what we call prayer. What should prayer sound
like? The disciples asked Jesus that same question one day. Do you want to see
His answer? Open your Bible to Luke 11:1-4. Read that passage a couple of times.

Take a look at that prayer. It breaks down into several parts as a model for
our prayers.

First, our prayers should give recognition to God for who He is. When you
pray, take time to thank God for being a holy and righteous God who was willing
to send Jesus to save us. Calling God holy and righteous means you are saying He
does not do anything wrong, or sin, like we do. It is one of the many things
that are different about God. When we thank God for sending Jesus, it reminds
you of the amazing forgiveness of God.

Second, our prayers should seek God’s plan for our lives. When we ask that
God’s “kingdom come,” we are praying that God’s desires will be accomplished in
our lives. We are asking God, “What are you doing and how can I help?”

Third, we should take our requests and needs to God. God is kind and
compassionate. He wants us to bring our needs to Him, knowing that He will give
us what we need. God wants to answer our prayers. When He meets our needs, we
understand even more that He is there and that He loves us. Remember though, God
does not give us everything we ask for. God is not Santa, He is the God of the
universe. He loves us and wants to be kind to us, but He is not in the business
of “filling our orders.”

Fourth, we need to ask God to forgive us from our sins and to guide us away
from temptation. It’s important that we continue to bring our sins and failures
before God. We are not perfect, but He desires to forgive us. If you start
thinking that God will be mad at you for your sin, then you will stop praying
and your relationship will not grow because of your choice to sin. But, if you
remember that God loves you and will forgive you, then you will continue to come
to God with your sin and ask Him to forgive you and help you to stop doing what
is wrong.

Don’t let anything keep you from praying consistently. Take some time out
each day to pray. Build prayer into your daily routine. When you get an
opportunity to pray with other people or for other people, do it. Don’t miss an
opportunity to talk to God. He wants to spend time in conversation with you.

Take some time to pray right now. Use the model prayer in Luke 11:1-4 to pray today. Also, before you
are done with today’s quiet time with God, plan a time later today when you will
pray. When you meet with your mentor later this week, you might also ask them to
pray for you. Tell them some things to pray about for you. Remember to also work
on memorizing John 3:16.