Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Praying Like a Child
Dylan, my eight year old son (soon to be nine, mind you) is what some would consider (meaning, me, mainly) very needy. His favorite word in the world is Mamma. In a given hour, he may say it around 60 to 100 times. I’m exaggerating, of course, but that’s what it seems like. And the funny thing is that he is not ashamed of his neediness. Regardless of how much his older brother makes fun of him, Dylan continues to express his desire to be close to me and his need to stay connected by communicating every single thought that comes to his mind, every minute of the day. He is not shy about requesting my attention. He demands it at all times. It’s like he carries my name at the tip of his tongue all day long! And I have to admit that sometimes (often times) I get annoyed by it.
I’ve been thinking about all these quite a bit lately as I am reading the book A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller. So far, what I’ve taken away in the few chapters I’ve read is that when we pray, we are to:
-Come as we are. Be yourself. Stop thinking you have to assume some sort of posture when you pray. That will only make your prayer life feel artificial and rehearsed. Don’t feel like you have to get it together and fix yourself. You are not going to a ball.
-Come messy. Stop thinking you have to clean up your house before letting the Lord in. Stop shoving things under the bed. Stop hiding the clutter in the closet. After all, we’ll never be able to make ourselves spic and span, anyway. That is exactly why He came…because of our inability to wipe away our own sins. If we could stop being messy on our own, we would not have needed Him to die on the cross.
-Don’t be ashamed of your neediness. He is never going to get tired of us telling Him about the hurts of our hearts. He is not going to be annoyed by our constant nagging and whining. He is never going to yell at us for our overflowing stream of tears. We will never shock Him with our sin. He knows it already. He knows it all.
-Come often. Unlike some earthly parents, Our Heavenly Father never tires of our company. He made us for the purpose of being in community with Him. He loves us. He draws us to Him with His irresistible calling. He is the air we breathe. Therefore, we must come to Him at all times…without ceasing.
-Come like a child. Run to His arms like a little child. Stay near. Feel the safety of His presence. Enjoy the comfort of His shade. Drink in the fountain of His love. Dive in the river of His peace.
I have to remember all these things every time I get frustrated with Dylan’s interruptions throughout the day. I need to remember that there is a lesson for me in his behavior. Even if it is the 60th time in a half an hour that he demands my attention, rather than becoming harsh with Dylan, I need to remember that I must learn from his insistence. I need to remember that, unlike me, Our Heavenly Father wants me to come to Him as I am, messy, needy, craving His attention. He would never turn me away with a harsh word of exasperation. I should, every time Dylan calls me, think of how much more like him I need to become and start carrying my Father’s name at the tip of my tongue all day long.
Linking with: Whole Hearted Home.com and Rosilind Jukic.com