Most of the time when we read the Gospel of Matthew 6:32, which states ” Your heavenly father knows that you need them”, we fall into confusion. And that confusion has stayed with me since my childhood every time I read that verse. If God knew what I need, why do I have to ask from him?
But let us look at it from another perspective. When Jesus was trying to make his disciples and the general public understand Matthew 6:32, what was he trying to imply – that we need not pray? Definitely not! Or else why would he give us the Lord’s prayer saying ” give us today our daily bread”.
Prayer is a conversation. When we ask of the Lord , we establish the following facts to be true:
- We are Human, and we are weak.
- We won’t survive without God.
- We accept and acknowledge God to be God.
- We accept God to be our Father, i.e., establishing a personal relationship with him.
- Prayer establishes dialogue. We dialogue/converse with God who is living and not just a piece of stone or just any supernatural being.
Lets see what the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us :
God, who knows us through and through, knows what we need. Nevertheless, God wants us to ask, to
turn to him in times of need, to cry out, implore, lament, call upon him, indeed, even to struggle with him in prayer. [2629-2933]
Certainly, God does not need our petitions to help us. For our own sake, we are supposed to offer prayers of petition. Someone who does not ask and does not want to ask shuts himself up in himself. Only a person who asks opens himself and turns to the Author of all good. Someone who asks goes back home to God. Thus the prayer of petition brings man into the right relationship with God, who respects our freedom.