“Teach me your way, Lord.” (Psalm 86:11)
Prayer begins by drawing near to God in response to His invitation. The next step, however, is to act upon that invitation with a desire to learn from and grow with God. Throughout the psalms, we encounter expressions of trust in God that lead into active growth with God. Psalm 86:11 is one of those statements: “Teach me your way, Lord.” This apparently simple declaration articulates a deep desire within the soul to know God and live in His ways. Here, encountering God turns into active pursuit of God.
That same desire is echoed in Psalm 25:
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:4-5)
Do you hear the desire for growth expressed by the psalmist in this rhythmic statements: “show me…teach me…guide me”? Like the psalmist, we too must step forward in prayer by actively desiring to grow with God in our daily lives.
We do not grow in the life of prayer by pretending we know more about prayer than we do. Rather, we develop in the life of prayer by expressing our dependence upon God and our hunger to grow in our relationship with Him. We admit our need and express our desire to God. We have very little else to offer to God but this humble confession and yearning expression. Why not stop right now and tell God how much you need Him and long to learn about prayer from Him?
Lord, teach me Your way
and show me Your paths.
Guide me with the light of Your Word
and instruct me by Your Holy Spirit.
I long to become a person of prayer
who begins and ends my day by calling out to You,
and walks closely with You
through all my minutes and hours.
I need You, and I long for You, God,
more than a deer pants for
streams of rushing water.