Saturday, December 6, 2008

Possible Prayers

Jonathan trundled out of bed this morning, crawled up in my lap, and said, "Mom, we forgot to pray."

I'm not sure just exactly when we forgot to pray, but it doesn't matter. I said, "Okay. Let's pray right now."

Jonathan wanted me to go first, so I prayed about getting our Christmas tree this morning, that we'd have a fun family day, and I thanked God for my family.

Then it was Jonathan's turn. He prayed:
Dear Jesus,
I pray that I will get a loose tooth.
And that I will put Roodie on. Um, but not the real Roodie. The ornament Roodie. And Casper on. The ornament Casper. And ornament Rosy.
Thank you for my brother, James.
And my mother, Mom.
And You, my Father.
And the Dad down here.
I love a lot of people in the world. Even Grandma Frame and Grandma Nana.
And Jesus' name, Amen.
Jonathan's pure, childlike requests touched my heart. He has been praying for a loose tooth for months. It's so fun to hear my children pray for things I know they will get. Jonathan will get a loose tooth, and then we will be able to point him to Christ just a little bit more by showing him that God answered his prayer. I love that!

While Jonathan prayed, I thought about what sorts of things I ask God for over and over again that He chuckles about. Jonathan's prayer seemed simplistic and childish, but I'm certain all the prayers of grown-ups are just the same in God's eyes. Sweet, and a little misguided. Always asking God for the obvious. Like His provision. Or sanctification. I wonder how often He gently puts His arm around my shoulder, gives it a light squeeze, and whispers playfully in my ear, "It's already done, my love..."

I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit, who intercedes on my behalf (Rom 8:26), saying what He knows I mean to say before the Throne of Grace.

All of this flashed through my mind while Jonathan thanked God for his family, and I was pleased to hear him say, "And Jesus' name" at the end. I wondered if he'd picked that up in Sunday School or I'd taught him that, because I hadn't remembered doing so.

He turned to me and said, "We always have to say 'in Jesus' name' at the end. But sometimes, in Sunday School, we don't say 'in Jesus' name'. But we always have to say it."

I asked him, "Do you know why we say 'in Jesus' name'?"

He shook his little blonde head.

"Well, it is because of Jesus that we can talk to God. If Jesus hadn't died for our sins, we wouldn't be able to talk to God at all, because we are sinful, and God can't be around sin. But when Jesus died for our sins, He made us clean so we could talk to God."

Jonathan's heard this before, so he just nodded, as if to say, "Yeah, yeah, Mom. Got it."

But even though it was obviously old news to him, it impacted me anew as I explained it. In awe, I continued in my mind, And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Mark 15:38). Hallelujah!

Even the simple, sweet, misguided prayers of my son and I would not be possible if God's Son had not died in our place. It took the power that conquered death to make prayers for loose teeth and Christmas Tree acquisitions not only prayable, but also delightful to God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is present and active in my life every day.

Let us therefore come boldy before the Throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
~ Hebrews 4:16


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