Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teaching Prayer

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?" Luke 11:13

There was just a pigeon on the window ledge outside our room. At first, from across the room it sounded as if the bird had gotten in our window, there was so much noise. I finally realized that she was a mom, protecting her young ones, scaring off the frightening humans just beyond the glass. The protective love of God in the heart of a smelly bird. Across the wide ocean, so long away from home, I cannot help but think of my children, praying for them and worrying about them all the time. Sometimes, it feels as if am not much more than a loud, smelly bird, but I sure do know what it is to love my children, to have the heart of God in my chest.

Jesus is teaching the disciples to pray and first he gives them what we now call the Lord's prayer. Then he tells them that they need to ask, to seek, to knock and they will receive, find and have the doors opened. It is really hard for them to believe that God is truly listening and desiring to fulfill the needs of the people. Our human masters shut the riff raff out, turn the common people away and close the door to the needs of others. But God, not like our human masters, God is listening, anticipating, hoping for our cries. God is aching to touch the needs of the people. God is aching as a parent aches to help their child.

Today, I want to spend my day in prayer. With each step I take, I want to ask God and talk to God about all that goes on. I know that as a mom I love nothing more than to have my girls share with me, tell me their needs, talk to me from their hearts. It is a gift to know them. And so, today, I want to live as if God really wants to know me, really wants to hear all that is within me. Jesus described God as a loving perfect parent, but few of us trust that description. Today, I want to trust that understanding of God. May we all have the courage to live out our prayer, walking and talking with God, asking for every breath we take, and being thankful for the abundance of breaths and days we have been given.

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