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A person with cash in the bank can use a debit card to withdraw money. But to do it, you have to enter an access code—you have to follow the bank’s procedure. In one respect, prayer is like that. In Luke 11, Jesus explains some principles we should follow when we pray. Jesus said we should recognize and praise God as our Heavenly Father—hold Him in an intimate relationship. While God is the source of all life, He is our adoptive Father after we by faith accept His Son as our Savior. Then, Jesus said, we should elevate God’s agenda above our own by praying that God’s Kingdom would come. Then we ask God to supply our daily needs. After that, we ask God to forgive the sins we commit each day, even as we forgive those who wrong us. Finally, Jesus says, ask God to help us say no when we are tempted to do evil. Jesus than added another critical principle for effective prayer. He said we must not stop praying. Persistence in prayer does not change God; it helps us realize how dependent we are on God. Jesus assures us that God is eager to answer our prayers when we pray in the right way. He says if we as earthly parents give good gifts to our children, how much more will our Heavenly Father give good gifts to us. That is because our Heavenly Father is far more compassionate than we will ever be.

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