Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Praying for a Better Prayer Life

I fall short in my prayer life. My wife says the same, as do a lot of my friends. Despite the fact that we are called to be in prayer constantly, it is a struggle setting aside time to speak to and listen to God. I feel like a poor example of a good prayer life. But I have a great mentor.

He’s not prideful. He is not vain. He is probably the happiest and most faithful person I know. However, he can be really, really selfish. But that can be excused, as he is only two years old. He is my son, Noah. One of the most beautiful and inspiring things about my son is that he reminds my wife and I to pray. At every mealtime he holds his little hands out to each side and says, “Prayers?” And he wants to make sure we say the right prayer, the one he is familiar with:

“God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food.”

We had Pastors Andrew and Nicole Conard over for dinner one night, and I began saying a different prayer. Noah was having none of that. He started trying to interrupt me so that we made sure we said his prayer. It was important to him that he participate. And it was wonderful to see that prayer was important to my son so early in life.

At nap time and bedtime, Noah knows that after we read our third story, it’s time for prayers. So he stretches out his hands again, and we say a different prayer. It’s a modification of a prayer my parents taught me as a little boy.

“Dear God, we love You. Protect us. God bless Mommy and Daddy, little Noah, grandmas and grandpas, Uncle Bryce and Aunt Amanda, cousins and friends, and everyone in the whole wide world. And all the puppies. Amen!”

The ‘puppies’ part was imperative to him, and the Amen is always emphatic.

Christ tells us that we must be like little children when we come to him, and in my son I see how true this is. His faith is unwavering, unquestioning, unintentional, unrelenting, unshakable, and undeniable.

If my faith were but a mustard seed, I know I could move mountains. My son’s faith shakes the ground I walk on. If each adult I knew prayed with the fervent intensity that I see in my son, his little friend, or the masses of children I see at church, I guarantee this world would be a better place.

God, I ask that You help me pray like my son. That You forgive me for not giving You the time You deserve. And God, help me not forget those puppies too.


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