Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Prayer is a Card from a One-Year Old

For Valentine's Day, my wife and I each received a wonderful card from our daughter. It was something we each treasured and enjoyed. Later that month, she accidentally hit my wife in the nose; the next time she saw her, my daughter gave her a piece of paper with a flower and a message saying "Katie Loves Mommy." Did I mention that our daughter is only 20 months old?

Looking at the whole thing objectively, we know that our daughter did very little to contribute in each of these cases. We each picked out and bought the cards, and we were the ones that sealed them in envelopes. We even directed her to "sign" each card, and to give the card to the other. Similarly, I wrote the message and drew the flower, and then directed her to give the paper to Mommy. Still, we acted as though Katie was the one making the effort.

It strikes me how much that mirrors our prayer life. God acts as though we're the ones really moving mountains, but how much of the effort is really ours?
  • Who prompts us to pray?
  • Who guides us how to pray?
  • Who gives us the right heart to pray?
  • Who listens to us?
  • Who reconciled us to give us the right to be heard in the first place?
  • Who answers the prayer?
God is certainly doing the heavy lifting in prayer, yet he rejoices when we pray. He makes the point over and over again for us to pray. Our prayers are like fragrant incense to him. But why is that, if he's doing all the work? What do we add to the mix?

We carry the card to Mommy.

1 comment:

Jen said...

That is so sweet! I could fill the world with things I have learned about God through my little girl. It is staggaring, isn't it? Thanks for sharing this thought - it is a beautiful picture of our amazing God.