How do you pray?

I believe that God speaks to His children in all kinds of different ways. Sometimes it’s in the simple beauty of a sunrise or the kind encouragement of a stranger. Lately, for me, He has been speaking straight through the words and actions of my two-year-old daughter.

Yesterday she had a particularly difficult day. She followed me around the house asking for everything under the sun: a sucker, to go outside wearing only her diaper, for me to hold her while I fed my nine-month-old daughter. You name it; she asked for it. And I had to say no to almost everything she wanted for one reason or another. Each “no” brought on a round of two-year-old hysterics complete with lying in the floor screaming, thrashing and throwing things.

Then mid-afternoon there was a moment of calm in the storm during which she crawled up in my lap, put her hands on both sides of my face and said, “my mommy”. Then she hugged me. In that instant I would have given her every single thing she had been asking for all day, because all I really wanted was for her to love on me.

That was when it hit me.

I spend most of my time with God (aka my prayer time) following Him around telling Him about all the things I need. I even throw in the needs of others for good measure. But I don’t stop there. I keep going, nagging Him with every detail, begging Him to intercede and pouting when I think He doesn’t hear me.  Just like my two-year-old I assume that, since it’s all about me, He must not have understood what I was saying if He isn’t answering me.

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe that God wants us to bring our needs to Him.  I just think sometimes we forget that He already knows our needs – even better than we do.  Like most of the other things in my relationship with God, bringing my needs before Him is for my benefit, to get that out of the way, take those burdens off my chest.  Then I can get down to the really good stuff, like crawling up in my Father’s lap and loving on Him.  Because, after all, that’s what He really wants.

So, starting now, it is my goal to spend less of my prayer time talking about myself and people I know and more time loving on my Savior, praising my Heavenly Father and just plain curling up in His lap and listening to what He has to say to me.


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