Friday, March 30, 2007

Saying Grace, Part 2

“Not yet, Henry—we haven’t prayed yet!” This seems to be an everyday occurrence. It’s hard to convince a 4 ½ year old boy to take time out of his arrow shooting, worm digging, and Lego building for a meal, so when he does finally sit down, he’s ready to eat right now, and usually goes for something before we pray.

Like any good two and a half year old, Harmony chimed in, “Why?”

Hmm…good question, Harmony. I answered, “Because we have to say thank you to God before we eat, because we trust that what He’s given us is great!”

I don’t know if that answer had any impact on my kids—Henry went for a gulp of juice to wash down the cracker before we prayed. But it did impact me. I’ve been very challenged in understanding prayer. Last Wednesday our small group discussed Mark 10:22-24:

“Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

This was a very challenging passage for me—I had just asked for the mountain of my potential miscarriage to be thrown into the sea, for the fetuses to be given God’s heart, for God’s hand to knit them correctly in my womb…and it didn’t happen.

I still don’t have answers for all the whys associated with the miscarriage, but my conversation with Henry helped me grasp believing before you’ve received it—we give thanks for our dinner before we have eaten it because we know that God is a good and gracious Father, who will give us bread and not stones to eat. I need to be thankful that God will provide for my needs, even if it’s not in the way that I want. Paul echoes this sentiment in Philippians 4:6: but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Lord, help me to trust you—trust you enough to give thanks before the prayer is answered…or not answered.

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