More Than Talking
Don’t you love the open, honest prayers of children? Not just the prompted ones that we’ve taught them to recite at dinner time or before bed. But the prayers that touch a nerve, like the following ones posted on our cmalliancekids Facebook page:
- “When my friends are being annoying, I need to not get mad. Please help me.”
- “God let me know you’re there please.”
- “Please take control of my life, help me face my fears, and love me back.”
- “God, I trust you to help me make new friends.”
- “I love you God. You are my best friend.”
The subject of prayer—how I talk about it with my own children and how I teach kids at church—has been bubbling up over and over for me during these past few months.
“Prayer is talking and listening to God.” When discussing prayer with kids, that’s been my previous go-to description. But that definition changed a few months ago as I read Wesley Duewel’s Mighty Prevailing Prayer and came across this quote:
- T. Forsyth (a Scottish theologian) warns that we dare not reduce prayer to talking to God or even dialogue with God, “mere walking with God in friendly talk.” We will not only lose the aspect of spiritual conflict, of wrestling and prevailing, but we may lose prayer’s ultimate reality. We make it conversation, rather than the soul’s great action.
And this got me thinking. What do I truly think about prayer? Do I really believe it is powerful—that God answers prayer and that I should expectantly wait for His answers? Is it just me talking and listening to a God I have reduced to being only my friend—not the powerful, awesome God that He is? Matthew 7:7–8 says:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
As I’ve examined my attitudes toward prayer, I’ve been challenged to pray bolder prayers—ones that stretch my faith and make me seek Him in all things. Yes, prayer is getting to talk and listen to the God of the universe. But it is also our opportunity to participate in His greater work of bringing the Kingdom of God here to earth.
I want my prayers to make a difference in this world, and I want my kids—both my own and those I serve in ministry—to know that theirs do to. Let’s ask, seek, and knock together!