Prayer is such a personal experience for each individual. For some believers it’s an essential part of their walk with the Lord, for others it’s like a new foreign language, something we deeply desire and honestly fear. Some might even feel uncomfortable praying with others. Like anything new, we need to take baby steps to make it part of our daily routine. Not everyone is going to have an amazing prayer life on the first try. But like all things worth doing, if you take baby steps in cultivating this essential life component, you will eventually grow to have a deeper prayer life. This begs the question, what exactly is prayer?
A typical morning may start like this:
Child 1: “Mom, can we have chocolate pudding for breakfast?’
Me: “No, it’s not a healthy breakfast.”
Child 1: “Then can we have vanilla pudding?”
Child 2: “Mom, I got already poured the milk in the pan with the chocolate pudding. Can we have chocolate pudding?”
Child 2: “You’re not being a very good steward if you throw out the pudding.”
Child 3: “I want chocolate pudding.”
Child 3: “I WANT CHOCOLATE PUDDING! I WANT CHOCOLATE PUDDING! I WANT CHOCOLATE PUDDING…”
Child 4: “Hey, Tyler, go ask Mom if we can have chocolate pudding for breakfast.”
Me: “I heard that.”
I have 4 children with vastly distinct personalities. All were raised in the same home with the same parents, but are all unique. Raising them in a manner that allowed them their differences and cultivated their strengths while maintaining my sanity was a challenge. I was not a Christian when I first became a parent. God graciously saved my husband and me soon after the birth of our second child. I wanted to be the perfect parent to give God glory. While my motive may have been pure, the goal disregarded my, and their, fallen natures.
I don’t believe I ever planned to be a mom, quite the opposite I planned to be the first one in my family to graduate from college. I planned to be a scientist. When my husband begged me for a child, I convinced him to get a dog instead. I loved my life, I had everything I needed, and I knew where I was going. I had the five year plan down to a science. Marry the man, get the house, get your BS and apply to graduate school. I believed in God and spent time with him, especially during finals. I would pray, “please let me pass, please let me get chosen, please get my husband off the baby talk, Amen and thank you Jesus.” To me, God was the genie in the bottle, there to grant my wishes and desires.