When I was a child, each night at bedtime I used to pray and ask God not to make me too tall, because it wouldn’t be good for my soccer career. I’m glad He didn’t answer that prayer because I ended up playing basketball. Luckily God doesn’t always answer our prayers, but I’m sure He enjoys hearing the things we pray for. Here are a few of my favorite Dear God -prayers by kids:
Dear God, if you watch me in church on Sunday, I’ll show you my new shoes.
Dear God, please take care of my family and take care of yourself, if anything happens to you, we’re going to be in a big mess.
Dear God, I want to be just like my daddy when I grow up, just not as hairy.
Hearing children pray can be pretty funny, but there is a precious simplicity to their prayers. They are honest, innocent, expectant and full of faith. A child’s prayer cuts to the heart of the matter and doesn’t question the feasibility of the miraculous. As far as a child is concerned miracles are as natural for God as eating ice-cream is for them.
From the time we are children to when we become adults, our prayer-life experiences a type of metamorphosis. It matures, which is not always are great trait if our intellect overtakes the childlike belief in the power of prayer. While praying requires the intentional exercising of the will, prayer should never become a stuffy exercise program. Instead prayer should be the lifeline of our walk with God.
Today, Christian culture talks a lot about prayer and is surrounded by great resources on prayer, but for the most part it actually lacks the passion to pray. One of the indicators of this is that the word prayer is often associated with words like boring, dull, repetitive, and something to do when we’re having trouble getting to sleep. Hearing, “Hey, come pray with us” is more like an invitation to drink kryptonite than it is to engage in a life changing encounter with God.
If prayer seems more like pulling teeth than a life-giving conversation with God, then consider these three characteristics about prayer:
Prayer is our privilege. As Believers, we have a wonderful benefit available to us 24h/day. Through Jesus, we have been adopted into God’s royal family and we have direct access to God’s throne of grace. Choosing not to utilize this privilege is like owning a mansion in Monte Carlo but choosing instead to sleep on the lawn outside. The home is yours – enjoy it with its privileges! Likewise, prayer is our privilege! God desires that we enter in and engage him through prayer.
Prayer is partnership with God. A partnership implies a relationship. Relationships work best when good communication takes place. Good communication must include speaking and listening. Listening to God in prayer creates a God-shaped heart within us, it’s where God-sized perspective is gained, and it is where God-sized dreams are born. Neglecting to pray is the undoing of our partnership with God and the demise of our spiritual life.
Prayer is powerful. James puts it like this, “The prayer of a righteous man [or woman] is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Prayer is a change-agent and an unstoppable force. It changes us and others. It has the power to transform circumstances and entire environments. It is one of the most important tools God has made available to Believers for transforming society and culture. If you’re prayers have not raised the dead, don’t worry. Miracles happen as God releases them, our part is simple to turn to prayer regardless of the immediate physical outcome. Carrie Ten Boom, who put her life on the line to save Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, spoke of prayer in these terms:
Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.
Make it a habit to be in the place of prayer continually. Make prayer your lifeline and watch how your spiritual life is awakened.
Soooo good!! I love praying!! But prayer has actually been one of the hardest struggles for me as a Christian. If I didn’t pray because I was too busy or too tired, I would feel so guilty. Now I’m understanding more and more the verse that says “pray without ceasing”, I’m learning to pray/converse to my Father throughout my day.
Thanks for writing on this Joel!