Nate and Sherilyn enjoyed their stop at an omakase restaurant while visiting New York City. Omakase is a Japanese word that translates, “I will leave it up to you,” which means customers at such restaurants let the chef choose their meal. Even though it was their first time to try this type of cuisine and it sounded risky, they loved the food the chef chose and prepared for them.
That idea could carry over to our attitude toward God with our prayer requests: “I will leave it up to You.” The disciples saw that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places” to pray (Luke 5:16), so they asked Him one day to teach them how to pray. He told them to ask for their daily needs, forgiveness, and the way out of temptation. Part of His response also suggested an attitude of surrender: “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
We can pour out our needs to God because He wants to hear what’s on our hearts—and He delights to give. But being human and finite, we don’t always know what’s best, so it only makes sense to ask with a humble spirit, in submission to Him. We can leave the answer to Him, confident that He’s trustworthy and will choose to prepare what’s good for us.
What do you want to share with God right now? What would it look like if you totally surrendered it to Him?
Why did Jesus begin this section on prayer (Matthew 6:5–15) with a caution? And who were these “hypocrites” He warned against (v. 5)? Mark 12 indicates they were “teachers of the law” who “devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers” (vv. 38–40).
This doesn’t mean that public prayer is wrong, but it comes with a great danger. We might pray to impress those around us rather than pray with humility to the One who sees our hearts and answers our prayers. At the same time, we might wish we could pray like some particularly eloquent person. In either case, it’s vital we remember that God isn’t in anything done for the sake of appearance.