Finding God Through Personalized Prayer

By: Deborah Lovett 

Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well, by Paolo Veronese, 1585 Used by permission from Wikipedia.

John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”

I love the way the Master Storyteller weaves a story. In the verse before this, the Samaritan Woman asked Jesus the question: “How can you ask me for a drink?” The woman was talking about physical H2O that came from Jacob’s well. Jesus changed the course of the conversation by his statement above, including “if, what, who, how, and ask.” Of course, He was referring to something totally foreign to her, called the “Living Water,” or spiritual water for her soul. The metaphorical significance is important. It shows us how we can be finding God through personalized prayer today.

Isn’t it just like Jesus to totally captivate His audience? We should take notes from this Man who called fishermen to become followers, and they immediately dropped their nets when He said, “Come follow me.” The irony of this moment is that the woman thought Jesus wanted something from her. When in fact, He wanted to give her the most precious gift in life—a personal, one-on-one relationship with a man who would never leave her or forsake her.

It is also just like Jesus to answer the woman’s question with a gift! However, I’m convinced most of us aren’t aware of the gifts just waiting for us. For if we knew what they were, and Who they were coming from, we would ask more often, for that explains how we receive them! To know Him is to know His gifts and how extravagantly He loves us.

God is saying to you and me today, “If you knew the gifts of your inheritance in Christ Jesus, you would be spending a lot more time in prayer asking for them.” In this passage, Jesus is saying, “Even though you don’t know, or even understand, ask anyway!” He has given us the deepest desires of our hearts, and He longs to fulfill those desires.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate gift giver of all time. He gave His life to save us from our sins. He gave His Holy Spirit to counsel us. He gave His stories to help us understand His truth. He gave thousands of people fish and bread for dinner. He gave the disciples a legacy to pass on to others. He gave Mary and Martha their brother back. He gave the blind man sight. He gave and He gave and He gave. Actually, He gave Himself right into the grave. As we seek Him, the gifts of peace, love, and joy naturally flow from Him to us like water from a river through the power of the Holy Spirit.

On that day in Jesus’ conversation with the Woman at the Well, He was about to give her the gift of Living Water. What this particular verse offers us is the gift of finding God through personalized prayer. He was saying, “Ask for what you think you need, and I’ll give you what I know is best.” Today, don’t be afraid to ask! We pray, and He personalizes our prayer to fit us perfectly. Just believe!

See the YouTube clip below to watch a reenactment of the meeting of Jesus and the woman at the well:


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