Growing up with two older sisters had its share of challenges. However, one way it always benefited me was with meeting new teachers. Both of my sisters were well behaved and pretty mild-mannered in school. Since I was a few years younger than both of them, I often ended up with teachers that could still remember having taught them.
Invariably, they would say something like, “Oh, Patrick… I taught your sisters… they were a treat. I know we are going to have a great year.”
Also invariably, they would be ruing the day my parents decided to have a third child before we made it to the first report card. If you aren’t getting the picture yet. I was a (let’s be nice) challenging student.
Like my teachers, my parents were also occasionally surprised by the difference between myself and my sisters. There were a few times we my mouth got out ahead of my brain and I said things that I quickly regretted.
In those moments, Mom or Dad or both, would say something along the lines of “who do you think you are talking to?” This was them telling me to check myself before getting in deeper than I already was. There was also the element that sometimes I needed to understand that it was my mother or father and not some friend to whom I had just made some wisecrack.
Yet, that brings me back to the idea of prayer…
Sometimes when we pray, I think we need to take a moment and ask ourselves just who it is that we think we are talking to?
Is He some far off being? A distant King? An angry overlord?
To whom exactly am I praying? Perhaps a look at the model of prayer that Jesus left will help us.
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. –Matthew 6:9 (NKJV)
When you pray, remember you are talking to your Father. He isn’t some angry King that is waiting for you to mess up. He isn’t your English Teacher that is going to throw out your request if the grammar isn’t correct. He doesn’t have to be convinced to love you, and you don’t have to work His sympathy in order for Him to care.
He is your Father. He cares for you. He cares about you. Every mundane detail. He cares that someone hurt your feelings. He cares that your bills are late. He cares that you feel lonely. He cares that you have been sick. He cares about your worry and fear. He wants to hear you talk about your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. He cares about all the stuff you think is too small to pray about. He even wants to help you bounce back from that mess you created by your own decision making. He cares.
He is your father. He cares.
When you pray today. Don’t bring a speech for a king. Talk to your Father.