In healthy families children have certain rights. A child has a right to talk to his father and a good parent answers and meets the needs of the child. A child has a relationship with his father. A child has a right to shelter and provision and emotional support. Children born into dysfunctional families don’t have those same privileges. But in God’s family, His children are well supported. So the basis of prayer (which is conversation) is relationship with a good father. We have a good Heavenly Father with whom we can pray.
How do we pray? The most basic element of prayer is relationship. Jesus instructed his disciples to pray to the Father. Not everyone can call God their Father. We come to the Father through accepting Jesus as our Savior. When we accept Jesus we are adopted as God’s sons. When we are born again we receive a brand new nature in our spirits. It is more than joining an organization. It is a new birth and a new family. The scripture describes this sonship in Galatians.
Galatians 4:5-6 that He might redeem those under Law, so that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
The term Abba could be translated as Daddy. That takes on a whole new meaning of endearing relationship. This Heavenly Father not only meets basic needs, but our wants as well. Just as a good daddy on earth endeavors to provide Christmas and birthday gifts that are wants, so does God.
He is not a heavenly butler who just serves us. But He is a loving father who desires to bless us with things that won’t harm us. He trusts us enough to give us things we may even enjoy! The responsibility of asking for the right things is ours. I have learned I sometimes get the things I ask for and wish I hadn’t! But as a kid I asked for some things for Christmas I thought I had to have and discovered they weren’t that great. But I learned to do my research in the future!
Your heavenly Father wants to give you your heart’s desires. But sometimes they come with conditions like waiting a while. The condition could be to obey what He has told us to do. As we mature we learn to ask appropriately. Often prayers for others go unanswered because there is the element of that other person’s will that we also can’t override. Prayer is not withcraft as though we could control someone’s decisions through our prayers. Prayer is both relational and supplicational. But the basis of all prayer is knowing we have a loving Heavenly Father who desires to bless us. So when we pray to our Father, we can come because we belong to Him.