Letting God be God
I've mentioned earlier that I read the book Prayer by Philip Yancey. I've been thinking a lot about prayer since I was on the Emmaus team last October.
Since I finished the Yancey book, I've noticed a change in my attitude toward prayer. Do you ever debate with yourself the validity of your prayers? Others' prayers? Are you like me, finding yourself with a judgmental attitude about what I should pray about? About what other people should pray about?
Do you ever find yourself criticizing the person who prays for a parking space? The person who prays about his homework? The success of a project at work? Do you ever wonder if certain concerns are too small to bring to God?
At Common Grounds one Thursday before Christmas, two prayer requests were submitted for community prayer -- one each from a husband and wife. Each of them were a asking us to pray that they would be able to buy his our her spouse a Christmas present. Have you ever prayed that kind of prayer? To this couple, to be able to provide each other with a Christmas present was a huge accomplishment, and a really heavy worry. I think God wants to hear us voice those concerns -- no matter what.
Do you ever edit your own prayers? Do you ever think, "I'll just pray for those things that I think God might wish to grant? Do you ever say to yourself, "I'll only pray for those things that I think he might find to be important or of value?" In addition, I've wondered if praying for disruptions in the "natural law," such as safety while traveling or healing, might be asking God to do something that he wouldn't normally do.
But then I read the Prayer book. One of my take home messages from the book was to let God be God. I've decided to pray about whatever is important to me. I'll ask for whatever is on my mind. God is God; I am not. He can look at what I pray and decide what is best. It's a form of faith. It's a form of trust. It's letting go of control, and giving it to God.
When I think about it, it's how my children talk to me. They ask for anything and everything. As the parent, it's my job to look at the big picture and to answer their requests from my adult viewpoint. If my kids trust me to do that, then I will trust God to do that as well.
Images: The sunrise as seen from the interstate today and proof that I live in Never Never Thaw Land -- our road, still snow covered.