Tucked in tight, the light from the hall casts sleepy shadows as Mom sits on the edge of my bed. My small voice begins the familiar words, “Now, I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep….” Kissing me goodnight, her footsteps creak across the wood floor to my older brother’s room. I hear whispers, then his boy voice softly recite, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name….”
A memorable time at the end of each day. Time to chat with mommy about everything under the sun, then, her quiet prompting for prayers. As children, we believed.
Eventually, I tell Mom I, too, want to pray the Big Prayer. It took a little practice. Mom would say a line, and I would repeat. Each night it got easier. I finally master the big words from the Old English prayer. I was grown up….
And, then….I grew up….
The restful focus and eagerness to pray came less often and more casual than those nights snuggled in my childhood bed. I became hurried, and often urgent, as pleas turned into, “Help me, Lord. Keep me from this, that, and the other thing. Help my friends. Help my children. Help me.” A one-sided conversation developed to suit my own worries and wishful thinking…and less about…well….God. I wanted, I needed, I expected.
Too often, prayers tumble from one to the next. Constant requests, because, you know, they’re important. The problem….an entitled heart.
I reached my grown-up years, but…prayer went all backwards.
Yet, the familiar lines I eagerly repeated as a child remained persistent, resting in my memory, patiently waiting for a resurrection. Isn’t that how God is?
Pause a moment. Don’t rush….listen…(click the titles)
From inward thinking, to a sacrifice of praise. Expectations alter. Attitudes adjust. Focus becomes clearer. Heart transformed.
Because Our Father waits. To bless. To comfort. To love.
Pray forward…begin…with…God. The best is yet to come.
Has your prayer focus been altered in some way? Share your story with us in the comments.