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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Praying with Expectation

We started praying with Eden when she was about 1. When we put her to bed at night, we'd read a story together and then we'd pray. As she got older she began to pray more & more and also praying at meals. Now, at age 3, she is an "old-hand" at this praying thing. She is typically the one who prays at meal times at our house and if any of us gets hurt, she is always quick to pray or suggest prayer. It blesses my heart to listen to her pray so sweetly and so sincerely without reservation. Sometimes at meals (I must confess...) Russ & I sometimes wish she didn't have quite so much to be thankful for! ;) But the thing about Eden's prayers that blesses me (and challenges me) the most is how she structures her prayers to God. Oftentimes when I approach God in prayer it is to ask and hope for His intervention or blessing but when Eden prays, she speaks as though her request has already been answered. While I may pray, "Dear God, Please heal my wound", Eden prays, "Dear Father, Thanks for making mommy's owe-ie to heal." And where I would pray, "Dear God, we can't afford to pay our dental bill, could you please help us find a way to pay for it?" Eden prays, "Dear Father, Thank you for getting the money to pay for Mommy's teeth." She prays with faith that only a child could have. I guess that's why Jesus said, "unless you become like one of these little ones, you can't come to me." (gina's rough paraphrased version or GRPV. ;)) I wish I could recapture that faith in myself. The saddest part is that I remember having that kind of faith as a child. And God honored that faith. I remember one summer as a kid praying that God would keep all the snakes away because we'd had a lot of snakes the few years before that...we've hardly seen a snake in parents yard since that time! And when I was a little older (probably about 12) I wanted to go to a concert and I knew someone who was going and I knew without any doubt that she was going to call and invite us to go with her so I was anxious for my parents to get home after church that day because I didn't want to miss the call. I knew that God would answer my prayers. And He did...about a half hour after getting home, the call I was waiting for came! But, it's not like that anymore. Logic and experience have taught me that God isn't always going to answer our prayers the way we want Him to. And even though I know that God is full of grace and he is our Daddy who wants to spoil us, I have unfortunately "learned" that I may do something that will make God not want or not be able to answer my prayer. My faith is tainted. I now feel like God's love is somehow dependent on me...and that doubt in the unconditional nature of God's grace is keeping me from praying with the anticipation I hear (and envy) in my daughter's innocent 3 year old conversations with our eternal Daddy. I know that I have much to learn from the faith of my children. When I pray, I want to be like her when she prayed for someone who was sick and when she was finished she turned to me and asked, "So, do they feel better now?"

1 comment:

Gregg said...

Gina, To my knowledge, we haven't had a snake in our yard since that year you prayed that prayer. (Much to your moms delight, I might add.) When it comes to prayer, our request needs to be the same as the disciples, recorded in Luke 11:1, "Lord, teach us to pray."