I am the kind of person who always wants to get to the bottom of things. I see a person who is a present mystery to me and I tare them apart in my mind on every point: how they look, the way they speak, whether or not they are being involved the way they should and then why or why not. I’m a very judgmental person. I know that as a Christian I had better be careful as labeling myself as such. But I mean judgmental in that I simply work harder to come to a conclusion on someone’s character. But I do admit that I sometimes take my critique to the level of feeling superior – it’s a flaw I’m working on.
Anyways – I should move on. I could go on for hours…pages and pages of the way I think of people, but we just might have to save that for another post. 🙂
In my constant search to get to the core (bottom, point, base, conclusion, truth – whatever your favorite ‘root’ may be!) of subjects, I’m very interested in prayer – my communication and relation to Jesus. The way I am supposed to address him, when, how often, with what subjects and if it all really matters – if it’s for his benefit or mine, if it really works, if it changes things or if it changes me and I change things, how long I should pray for one thing and why some prayers never seem to be heard. (Whooh!)
I suppose lots of us have heard the religious terms of coming to God as a ‘child’ in prayer. I’ve heard it a lot growing up and in many religious circles and media. Sometimes I get angry because I hear how we are supposed to pray as warriors – as soldiers and so on. And then I hear we are supposed to pray as children…I don’t know if it’s just me or if there really seems to be a bit of a difference between a crazed warrior and a little child…and yet, if I dwell on it, I can see a young warrior – running with the force of boyish mindset, with the strength of a fine-tuned warrior, and a trust and devotion for his Commander that a five-year old son has for his Daddy. Can you?
I think that our praying attitude (and the whole Christ Following mindset) can be found in that type of warrior.
Requests of a Trusting Child
Ask, and ir shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for everyone that asketh recieveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto you children, how much more shall your father in heaven give good gifts to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7-11)
A little girl of three who falls and scratches her knee rushes into the arms of her parent and says “Mommy – fix it!” as she watches the blood trickle – that horrible blood! She just trusts that Mom who has always been able to help her before will help her now. She knows that Mom loves her and knows how to clean it up and make it all better. There is the possibility that she could fall and break her leg and Mommy might not be able to do much with that (I’m not going to make Mommy into God – she’s human let’s remember!) but that kid is going to look to Mommy the same way – with the same trust and reliance, knowing that she herself can’t do anything, but that Mommy knows what to do. That’s how kids think. And even now – as a teen, I still trust my parents with a bit of that childish devotion – if I can’t fix it – even if I almost doubt that they can’t, I come to them and cry. Kids ask their parents for anything and everything…a toddler will see something in the store with a price tag he can’t comprehend and he’ll just ask for it. The little girl sees the pretty pony and says “I want one!”. And then if you listen to a five-year old pray you’ll find yourself sighing in secret doubt of ever attaining the great things they ask the Father for. They live in innocence of doubt…and then the world goes and throws water on their fire. ‘Reality’ comes knocking. They ‘wake up to the real world’ as many gone before say in bitterness. “But isn’t that wise?” we ask “It’s silly to believe that way!” and even people calling themselves “Christian” say “Well, you can’t come to God like he’s Santa Claus!”. Well, it seems to me that American Christians really do see God as any adult sees Santa; as a fantasy. It’s time we start asking God for things like our crops to yield a harvest that science claims impossible. It’s time we ask God to stop our friends from making foolish choices instead of just saying that ‘God’s Will’ will be done either way. Cause it’s not true. God’s will isn’t accomplished in millions of people’s lives all over the world in this moment alone. That kid who just committed suicide yesterday? That wasn’t God’s will. Many people – Christians – will tell you it was God’s will. But it wasn’t. The disappearance of those 2 Iowa girls all over the news? That wasn’t God’s will. No where in the Bible does God say it was ‘his will’ that the Israelites left him for false gods, or that it was ‘his will’ that Eve fell for temptation. I have no God given reason to believe that everything that happens is his will. So, we should make Child-like, impossible, ridiculous requests.
Prayer cannot be broken up into steps like “How to Tie a Tie”. There isn’t a ‘secret formula’ of sorts. It’s a matter of heart. But the most important part of prayer is the trust of a child. We may and must approach God with Child-like requests and stop relying on our common-sense as our ‘answerable prayer meter’.
God is teaching me more and more the way of the Child Warrior. Ask him to teach you as well – he will teach you anything you want to be taught, he is the giver of all good gifts. And only good gifts.
Hope you come back later for part 2!