Photo Credit: Maria Wild
During this morning’s devotions we did something we’d never done before.
At the breakfast table, we read a Proverb and prayed. By one of the girls’ suggestions, we went around the table and each prayed for the person next to us. Prayers were spoken for the biggest to think before he speaks, for the big girl to be gentle to a brother, for the middle boy to remember what he’s told, for the middle girl to be thorough in all of her schoolwork, for a little girl to be kind to her sister, and for the littlest to not be contrary and cross. The middle girl was next to me, and she prayed that I wouldn’t do all the work, and be healthy, and to be very happy. When it was my turn to pray, I heard my words sound formal, respectful/polite/well-mannered…. I wasn’t tenderly asking with innocence and vulnerability like the small prayers said before me.
Photo Credit: Maria Wild
Why is it so hard to ask?
If He loves to give, why isn’t it easier? All day, my children ask for snacks, help in the bathroom, cups to be filled, socks and shoes put on, and help with long words. Sometimes I hear “Mom, Mom, Mom” so many times, surely there is not three seconds between their calls! One thing I know through their asking is that they need me. The kids ask unafraid and relentless, and their asking is a bold statement of helplessness. The asking requires surrender, and surrender springs from humility. I know I lack the humility to ask God the way the children ask for daily things of me. Because in asking, I would be completely yielding to an Almighty God – I would acknowledge my incompetence and inability.
The irony of it is that when I try to ask, I am afraid I don’t know how to do it the right way (James 4:2,3). If we don’t receive because we don’t ask as we ought, then I just don’t ask! I know my prayers are so imperfect and awkward! But when I pray in Jesus’ name (John 14:13), it’s not my stuttered words He hears but the delightful prayers of Jesus. If I trust His Name is enough, than my struggling, messy prayers are all God wants!
If you think of it, this is why Jesus told us that we needed to be like children (Matthew 18:3 ). My kids ask in helplessness, and they just ask – not afraid to sound broken or simple. Children ask because they are dependent. How I want that my heart is humble enough to ask! Just ask!
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
with love. Damaris