a facepalm moment

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8, NIV)

I had a facepalm moment the other day in regard to prayer. I was home alone with Mia, and she wanted something to eat. Based on her patterns and preferences, I had a pretty good inkling what that was, but I wanted her to tell me. She was grunting and gesturing, but I patiently encouraged her to use her words. This wasn’t merely for my benefit, but for hers, because I know she needs to learn to articulate her needs beyond moaning and groaning. I turned my ear to her to let her know I was listening, wore a smile on my face of encouragement, and said something to the effect of, “Trust daddy, tell me, because I want to help you.” I didn’t want Mia to tell me what she wanted because I didn’t know, but because I wanted her to tell me…I wanted her to trust me to meet her needs…and I wanted to meet those needs!

Did I mention that was a facepalm moment?

And such it is with prayer. God knows what you want, but He also knows what He wants — relationship, trust, and to help. In my case, Mia wanted Honeycomb cereal for breakfast (I knew that, because the box was on the counter and she grunted and gestured directly at the box). She knows how to say things like hungry, eat, cereal, and even string words together to form an intelligible sentence; such as, I want to eat cereal, please. What I wanted was for her to tell me and trust me to meet her needs. There was a big celebrative YES waiting on her when she spoke it out loud. Now, of course, if she said she wanted me to toss her a running chainsaw, for example, I would have said, no, and explained that wasn’t a good idea for her, our pets, our home, or even me. That’s probably a daily water for another day, though…

God wants you to pray, not because He doesn’t already know what you want or need, but to help you learn to trust Him to hear you and meet your needs, all in love. And even when the answer needs to be, no, to help you know why. So let God help you learn and use your words in prayer. Let God teach you to trust Him, and know how He longs to respond in love. Examples are all around you…trust God and let it change your life!

Prayer: Dear Lord, I know you long to hear from me. Forgive me for the times I limit our relationship to my grunting and pointing and expecting you to respond at my beck and call. Help me to enter into a constant divine dialogue, knowing that the power of prayer is for me. I ask this in Jesus, name. Amen.