Updated: Sep 8
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Do you know what the best prayer ever is?
The Lord's Prayer, right? Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name...
Nope. I think there's a better one than that. It's a secret that my dad taught me while I was growing up. I heard him pray it over and over. I heard him teach it to everyone and anyone who would listen. The best prayer ever is this...
Prayer doesn't have to be complicated or full of flowery words. It doesn't have to contain praise and repentance and perfect formulas so we don't offend God. It just needs to come from our hearts.
This month, I'm planning to write a series of posts on prayer.
I'll focus on simplifying this essential part of the Christian leader's relationship with God. I'll deal with myths about prayer and the way we complicate something that's intended to be so easy.
But for today, I'll end with a little story from my life. A few weeks ago, my daughter got very frustrated because an art project she wanted to do wasn't turning out how she pictured it. She broke her right arm on Father's Day and was in a heavy cast, so she tried to use her left hand. Things weren't going well, so she asked me to help her. I'm pretty artistic, but she asked me to make something I really struggle with. No matter how hard I tried, my efforts weren't cutting it. She totally melted down, and in frustration I cried out, "Dear Lord, please help me."
My daughter stormed off to her room and slammed the door. (She's only seven. Is this normal?) I looked beside me and realized that I had everything I needed to help her in the basket next to my chair. As my thoughts came together, I quickly created exactly what she needed for her project and it turned out well. I called her to come back.
I noticed as she walked toward me that she was crying and clearly hurt. When I told her that she was totally over-reacting, she let me know that it wasn't the frustration of the failed project that bothered her, but that I had gotten so frustrated with her. That's when I showed her what I'd done and explained that although I had been upset that she was having a meltdown over such a small thing, my words were truly a prayer. A prayer God answered! I explained that...
as soon as I prayed that frustrated prayer, God opened my eyes to see what I could do to help her.
Then we laughed together and talked about how much God cares about us. He even cares that we're frustrated with parenting and broken arms and failed art projects.
Maybe you're trying to figure out how to help your children with virtual school while the toddler runs around and gets into everything. Maybe you're trying to figure out new technology at work and think you'll never understand. Maybe you're trying to decide if you need to do anything different to attract the right buyer for the house you have sitting on the market for several months. Or maybe you're just trying to figure out how to help you son keep his mask on at school.
Big or small. God sees our hearts and He loves us. We can open up our hands to reveal what we're so tightly gripping, thinking we have to do it all ourselves, wearing out Google and our husbands, and offer it to the Lord in prayer.
Help me, God. I can't do this alone.
It is God's great delight to help his precious daughters. And if there's anything that I can pray about with you today, please leave a comment below and I will join my heart with yours in seeking God's help.