I love my son more than he could ever know, but as a two year old his communication skills needs some major improving. He’s still learning to talk so it can be hard to understand him. As a result, I’ve found myself being proactive in making sure his needs are met. When he’s hungry, meals and snacks are ready to go. When he’s thirsty, a drink is not far away. When he wants to wrestle, I’m always ready! I give him what he needs before he even has to ask for it because I love him.
Jesus referred to God as his Father and encouraged his disciples to do the same. He did this for a reason – we know that good fathers love their children and take care of them. It was important to Jesus that when his disciples prayed they prayed not to some distant god, but to their heavenly Father.
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can hear them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your father, who sees everything, will reward you. When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”
God is your father – he knows what you need even before you ask. You don’t have to convince him with big fancy words like the religious hypocrites. You don’t have to sway him to answer your prayers by ritually repeating the same phrases over and over again. All you have to do is call out to God like a two year old child reaching up for something to drink. God loves you enough to know what you need and respond to the honest prayers that come from your heart.
When you pray today, pray like a child. Get rid of the idea that you have to be eloquent. Just speak your heart to the father who loves you and trust that he wants to take care of you.