The family of 5 sat around the table. Finished eating Mom asked for a volunteer to pray. The young man volunteers "I will! Dear God, Please make sure I get all kinds of Vikings stuff and that new Vikings jersey that I wanted. Amen"
Dad and Mom give each other "that look" but don't crush his spirits completely. They ask for another volunteer. The youngest daughter is eager to show up her big brother. Certain she's got it right. "Dear God, Thank you SO much for making me SO popular! Thank you for not making me act like a dufus like other kids in my class. I'm so glad I'm popular"
Another look passes between Dad and Mom. They look to their 3rd child hoping that one of them has it right. She looks confident. "Dear God, Thank you so much for everything you have ever given us and please help every single person who has any kind of disease"
Mom and Dad give a heavy sigh and state that there is work to be done.
This was the skit that played out in the front of the chapel on that first day of school morning.
At this chapel we as parents and students are introduced to the school's theme for the year. This year- prayer. Praying how God wants us to, not so that we can get Him to do what we want for us.
Pastor Bob continued on after the family stepped down. Asking what a 10 year old boy might want for a birthday gift. His wish at that age- a watch. (this grew chuckles from today's kids as they couldn't imagine that being the top of their wish list, but I guess I, too, am old enough to remember a watch or alarm clock at the top of my list) He remembers how he would do anything for his parents so that they would get him that watch, saying what he thought would work.
Do we pray to God like this? Say what we think He wants to hear so that He'll give us what we want? I know that while they were speaking to the children, I could recognize this in my own heart. We think we can get God to do what we want.
And the day of the gift comes.... it's not a watch in that box. The size is wrong. The weight is wrong. Disappointment creeps in. Until you open the gift, and its even greater than that watch! So much more than you would have ever expected to even ask for!
God's answers are often disappointing to us at first glance. We think we didn't pray right. Didn't say the right words. Or that He just didn't feel we should have it. Yet when we His answer is fully revealed, we often find that His gift is so much more than we deserved. More than we could have hoped. We never could come up with this on our own. Only God could have answered in this way.
I can't tell you how excited I am this year to learn with my children about prayer. I feel that I fall short in this department in my walk. I feel my prayers come across as whining lists or a rush before the next thing. I hope to be able to share more with you. ( for those who were at the chapel, sorry for not giving you anything new. )
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say:
" 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation. " Luke 11:1-4