I have 11 cousins on my dad’s side of the family. We spent a lot of time together growing up, so we are a fairly tight-knit bunch. I’m in the older bunch of kids, so I spent a lot of time “mothering” the little ones. Carter was no exception. I’m sure would be pleased for me to share the fact that I helped potty-train him in one weekend. He was one cute kiddo and only slightly annoying. 🙂
He had a habit of asking questions. Lots of questions. ALL THE QUESTIONS.
Ginger: Carter, look at the bird flying so high!
Ginger: Because it’s pretty!
Ginger: Because God made it that way!
Ginger: He’s very talented.
Ginger: Because He’s the creator of everything.
And on. And on. Lots of what, why, and how questions from that little guy. He was so persistent in asking.
I think Carter was onto something.
In the midst of feeding a baby, staying connected to my family and community, dusting end tables, and writing – God seems to be echoing the theme of asking.
I’m memorizing the book of James and keep returning to chapter 1 starting in verse 5. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
Feeling utterly without wisdom in so many areas of my life — big dreams to small tasks — I began to ask. But often I ask like Oliver Twist with my, “please Sir, I want some more” doubts. I don’t really expect my baby to actually sleep through the night or see total change in a life, or wake to a picture of how the dreams could become a reality.
And then my morning reading of Streams in the Desert took me to Psalm 27:13, and I realize I have not placed my confidence in the one who is completely trustworthy when it comes to my hopes and needs. “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Throughout my days the theme echoes louder and louder.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
From Paul Miller’s A Praying Life“Let’s do a quick analysis on how little children ask. What do they ask for? Everything and anything. If they hear about Disneyland, they want to go there tomorrow.How often do little children ask? Repeatedly. Over and over again. They wear us out. Sometimes we give in just to shut them up.How do little children ask? Without guile. They just say what is on their minds. They have no awareness of what is appropriate or inappropriate.Jesus tells us to watch little children if we want to learn how to ask in prayer. After introducing the idea of bold asking in the Sermon on the Mount (‘Ask, and it will be given to you’) he tells us why we can boldly ask. ‘Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!'” (Matthew 7:7, 9-11)
I knew in my head the promise of prayer, the invitation to ask and receive, but I rarely took God up on it. My prayers were timid. I often talked myself out of asking, reasoning that if God wanted something to happen, He would just make it happen. I forgot about the relationship, and His desire to meet me in prayer. He loves to meet our needs.
So now I’m asking. I’m asking for the baby to fall back asleep, the parking place to free up, the neighbor to come outside, and my day to be directed by His agenda rather than mine. There is so much joy and freedom to be found when we stop giving excuses and simply take our everything to the Lord in prayer.