I started reading a really good book several months ago, which touches on the theme of prayer—how we consider prayer, how we approach God in prayer, how we live a transformed life of prayer. It’s called A Praying Life, by Paul Miller. Here a few thoughts from the book which have challenged me once again to be even more real with my heavenly Father:
Jesus opens His arms to his needy children and says, “‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest,'” (Matt. 11:28).
The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness…What does it feel like to be weary? You have trouble concentrating. The problems of the day are like claws in your brain. You feel pummeled by life. What does heavy-laden feel like? Same thing. You have so many problems you don’t even know where to start…Jesus wants you to come to Him that way!
Don’t try to get the prayer right; just tell God where you are and what’s on your mind. That’s what little children do. They come as they are, runny noses and all. Like the disciples, they just say what is on their minds…
Why is it so important to come to God just as you are? If you don’t, then you are artificial and unreal, like the Pharisees. Rarely did they tell Jesus directly what they were thinking. Jesus accused them of being hypocrites, of being masked actors with two faces…
The only way to come to God is by taking off any spiritual mask. The real you has to meet the real God. He is a person…Come overwhelmed with life. Come with a wandering mind. Come messy.
Messy? God wants me to come messy? I confess I don’t like doing messy. I all too often want to come to God like a neatly-wrapped package, as if I were a present to Him! Besides not being a neatly-wrapped present, I’m like a present that’s broken before it’s taken out of the box, like a blender that won’t blend, and which should be returned to the store! I am constantly in need of God’s work of grace to fix me, put me back together again, and make something beautiful of my life.
Sometimes I forget that this is exactly how God wants me to come—needy, broken, empty-handed, and eager to receive His forgiveness, grace, and power. And oh, how eager He is to give me these!
Summer time, when our homeschooling isn’t in full swing, is a really good opportunity, moms, to spend some extra time in prayer—for a new school year, a new season with our family; for our and our children’s hearts, for the Spirit of God to be actively at work in us and in them; for God to knit our hearts together, parents to children, and husbands and wives together; for His grace to be poured out in our lives, that the world around us might see the glory of the gospel on display in us. Come neat or come messy. God welcomes us in Christ every time we come to Him!
There’s no place like home,