Friday, April 13, 2012

Can you pray that...

"Can you pray that I love daddy a lot?"

"Can you pray that daddy and I are best buds?"

"Can you pray that Jesus was in the tomb and it was really dark?"

"Can you pray that I like the blue Lightening McQueen at Jonathan's house?"

"Can you pray that I love Jesus and God a lot?"

These are the types of prayer requests Samuel suggests in the midst of me praying with him before bed... everything from family members to school to toys to his thoughts about God. Side note: Samuel is currently obsessed with the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He and Lauren act it out almost daily. I'm not quite sure how I feel about hearing my son say: "Lauren you be Jesus and go in the tomb. Daddy lets do the crucifixion." It seems I should draw the line somewhere but I haven't quite figured out yet where that line is...

Tonight was filled with many questions and an abundance of prayer requests. I was tired, getting impatient and our prayer time had gotten quite lengthy. Then I heard:

"Can you pray that daddy doesn't give me everything I want?"

Samuel was asking for me to pray about the fact that daddy doesn't give him everything he wants and that he wishes daddy would.

His question touched my heart. Because isn't that the pure heart of a child? Isn't that the unspoken request of our heart? The one we dare not verbalize: that our Father would give us everything we want?

How often do we beg God to give us our heart's desires and how frequently do we plead with Him and petition Him for "everything we want?"

And how often do we claim Psalm 37:4 while we're praying:

"Take delight in the Lord
and He will give you the desires of your heart."

A few weeks ago I was reading a book that mentioned this verse and it led me to ponder the words of Psalm 37. What is the Lord actually saying through this passage?

We tend to understand Psalm 37 this way: I delight in the Lord and then He will grant me my heart's desires. Those desires might be a relationship, health, a baby, a new job, a home, a better income, a new car, +++

We claim this verse and can't understand why our desires don't come to fruition if we're delighting ourselves in the Lord.

I think it's possible that the Lord is trying to say this: delight in me and I will place the desires in your heart that I want you to have. 

Do you see the difference?

It's not about God giving us what we want. It's about God actually placing desires in our heart. When we delight in Him our desires are all about Him. And I think He desires one thing above all else: for us to know Him.

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. Philippians 3:7

When my son prays about not getting everything He wants, I see myself (and many others) in his request. We want what our human flesh desires. Instead God wants for us to desire Him and Him alone.

If we were to get all our heart's desires...well, can you imagine? There would be no need to know God. There would be no need to be in relationship with Him, talk to Him, commune with Him. God doesn't give us what we want, He gives us what we need and what brings Him glory. And since He created us to be in relationship with Him, that is our greatest need.

He's only 3 and yet God has granted Samuel with wisdom and understanding far beyond his age. I love having conversations with him about Jesus and God and the curiosities that fill his mind. Samuel recognizes that we don't give him everything. He gets angry about it. And yet I think a part of him realizes that it's the right response from his parents.

We won't ever give Samuel everything he wants. God won't ever give us everything we want. Until everything we want is Him. 

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