Again and again I come back to the concept of prayer, there are so many aspects to prayer that leave me with more questions and I find that the more I contemplate it the more I need to learn. I have learned much in the past few years without doubt but truthfully it’s been a journey of about 8 years now, one would think that would be enough time to really sort out what prayer is, why we pray, how we pray, the point in praying. However, here I sit, years later and I still have questions.
I find that my prayer life started out like a baby starts, with total dependence and absolute simplicity. Just as a child grows and learns I have found my prayers doing the same thing, but as a child learns they also have expectations placed on them and I guess I feel that now. I feel a burden to know God better, to hear his voice clearer or be able to discern his will faster than I did. Yet I can’t, and I don’t, and half the time I find that I am still stumbling around in the dark looking for the doors and windows or at the very least a little light.
So, then it comes back to the question of who am I praying to? Why?
We heard a sermon today about prayer, we were reminded that Abba means Daddy, and given the image of a child who is close to his Father, how do they talk? How do they communicate with each other?
The thought struck me that neither of my kids talk yet, or at least enough to really communicate with their Dad, and yet there is no doubt that they have an open and honest and beautiful relationship. Josh, when separated from his Dad for even a short time will run to him with a huge smile on his face and open arms when they are reunited. Kaleb, when Daddy has left the room will look for him, seeking him out, asking ‘Daddy go?’ until he finds him and then, as with Josh, when he spots him he will throw his arms out for a hug.
Their relationship with their Dad is both selfish and totally selfless, they are totally dependent and yet totally free to be themselves. They seek him for comfort, for strength, for answers, for courage, for affection, for play, and for guidance. He loves them without conditions, it doesn’t matter what mess they make, toys they break, what hurts they cause. He loves them regardless and he won’t stop loving them.
With no full sentences, no deep thoughts, they are able to still have and maintain a deep, loving and fulfilling relationship with each other. Is this the hope that my Abba, my Daddy, has for our relationship? Is he wanting me to seek him out when I feel like he’s left the room? Is he hoping that when I see his face I will run to him with my arms wide open? Is he watching me, loving me regardless of my mistakes, with a smile of pride on his face? Are his arms longing to hold me, the way Tim longs to snuggle with the boys? The times that I just don’t have words to pray, are those the times when he is willing to just snuggle up and cuddle me until I am comforted? In the times when life is a little less complicated, full of laughter and dreams and hope, is he longing to join in, to celebrate with me, to play with me the way only a Father can play with his child?
The point of Tim’s relationship with the boys is simple… to love, to mature in relationship, to enjoy each others company and teach and guide. They achieve that goal by simply loving each others company, and at the end of the day is that not what prayer is? Enjoying the company of the one who loves you without conditions? Do I need to complicate something as simple as that?