This year I am calling “The Year of Seeking After God.” Seek is my ‘one word’ for the year. In my desire to seek after God, I hope to grow deeper in my prayer life. After all, prayer is one of the main ways to seek God. I mentioned last week that I’ve been reading a book on prayer with the ladies at my church. In A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World, Paul Miller encourages us to stop trying to dress up our prayers to make them look good before approaching God. He suggests that we instead come to God like little children.
Children live and explore life on a different level than adults. They live in the moment, pausing to enjoy every little discovery, while we as adults bear the burdens of the world on our shoulders. They marvel at everything, even the seemingly insignificant and unimportant. From a slimy worm to a rock on the ground, from a lollipop at the bank to a silly joke they made up, children enjoy all of life. They voice excitement for any reason and hold nothing back. Children always say exactly what is on their minds, they don’t care about getting messy, and they love with passion.
To be like a child with God is to simply be free to come just as I am.
Yes, this is me:) Taken by my friend, Lisa Tarplee
Young children also know that they are helpless. They know that they us to meet their needs. It’s a given in their life that mommy and daddy are the ones they go to when they are hurt, hungry, sad, and afraid. And they call for us right away when they need help. ”Mommy, can I please have something to drink?” “Mommy, I need to go to the bathroom!” “Mommy, can you help me tie my shoes?”
Why can’t I be that way with my Abba?
I find it hard to be like a child in my relationship with my heavenly Father. I don’t live in the moment and fail to trust Him for the future. I rarely pause to enjoy the littlest blessings He provides. When I have a problem, I try to solve it on my own. When faced with a challenge, I worry and fret. And I don’t love Him with abandon or run to greet Him the way my son does my husband upon his return from work.
But I want to. I want to be like a child with my Abba. I want to trust Him completely for my every need. I want to believe that He knows what is best for me. I want to run free and wild in my faith and feel the wind of His love blow softly against my cheek. I want to share with Him all the little discoveries and experiences of my day. I want to laugh with joy, knowing that all my worries and cares are in His sovereign hands.
When it comes to praying like a child, I need to pray with great expectation. Instead of being a realist, I need to share with Him my hopes and dreams. I need to come to Him as I am, messes and all, and without shame. And those to-do lists, prayer programs, and proper sentence structure–I need to leave all those behind.
In A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World, Miller also suggests that if there are worries or other distractions on our mind when we begin praying, we ought to pray about those concerns first. Or as Lewis wrote in Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, “We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.” When we try to force those things out of our minds, they inevitably sneak back in and we spend our prayer time distracted. Like a child speaking out loud all the thoughts on their mind, we need to enter into prayer with all our disconnected thoughts and concerns.
It’s okay to pray messy, broken prayers because that’s exactly how we come to God through the gospel–messy and broken.
It is hard on my own to peel back the layers and find my inner child-like faith. But with Christ, all things are possible. When I focus on the freedom I have to just be myself with Him, my heart starts skipping with the release of all my worries. As I dwell on a Love so strong that He would enter into my messy life so that I could become a child of God, my heart begins to run with wild abandon. And before I know it, my heart is soaring on the winds of grace as a beloved child of my Father.
Giving thanks in community (#2060-2073):
seeking Him in prayer
learning and growing
faith talks with my oldest
kindness from new friends
being amazed by grace
doing spelling words with Scrabble Cheez-its in homeschool–a big hit!
peace of heart
answered prayers and miracles
encouraging emails from complete strangers
my husband and kids going to my in-laws for the night
a whole 24 hours to myself!
a girl’s night out with friends
strawberry season in Florida