(First, you need to have these pictures in your head to capture Riley Grace's personality! :-))
Now, read on!
I wish you could be a fly on Riley Grace’s bedroom wall when we begin her nighttime routine. She’s got the routine down to a science, and you better not try to help her with it! She wants to get the chap stick and books and Bible book and socks, etc. She wants everything to be done in her order and in her time frame. But all the steps are worth it just to hear her childlike prayers at the end!
Here’s a rundown of Riley Grace’s most recent prayers:
“Dear God, thank you for Mama because she has a headache, and You didn’t make her better, so please make her better. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
“Dear God, thank you for Grams, and she has a my bed at her house, and she didn’t take the rails off, and I want the rails to be off because I grew up. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
“Dear God, thank you for making Nana better because she doesn’t feel good because she has boogers in her nose. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
“Dear God, Mimi has my bed at her house, and Pop showed it to me. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
“Dear God, I hit my friends today, and that was not nice, and tomorrow I want to go to Bible Study with Mama so I’m gonna be nice. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
“Dear God, pray for Daddy because he’s working late, and why is he working late? He’s gonna come tell me night. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
“Dear God, Bartimaeus couldn’t see because the lights were out and then Jesus turned the lights on and He could see! And Naaman had owies all over, and said “no” to God, and then he washed in the river, and his owies were all better! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
Obviously, she loves her grandparents, Bible stories, and she fusses a little bit when praying!
I love her little heart when hearing her nighttime prayers. Usually, when I remind her to say her prayers, she informs me that we can’t pray for anyone if we didn’t FaceTime anyone that day. In her mind, she can only pray for people whom she’s FaceTimed with that day! So, I keep telling her that you can pray for them even if we didn’t talk to them that day. J
Lately in her prayers, she’s been recounting events of her day or telling God about people in her life. Basically, she keeps telling God what He already knows. And many times, she repeats it more than once! My favorite is when she starts reciting Bible stories as she prays, as if He doesn’t know them already! J
Does He tire of hearing her repetitive prayers, fusses, or daily events in which He’s already aware? NO!
Does He rejoice that her little heart desires to talk to Him and tell Him everything even when her prayers turn into Bible lessons, family history lessons, or fussing sessions because He didn’t heal her mama’s headache or her Nana’s boogers? YES!
Riley Grace is slowly and steadily building her knowledge of God and of prayer, and in her childlike way, she’s building a relationship with Him. They talk every night. At this point, she does all of the talking, and He does all of the listening, but it’s a start! (In all honesty, she rattles on a little bit at times and jumps from topics that are completely unrelated, but He listens!) He is hearing her heart through her nightly prayers. She is forming a habit of talking to God about anything and everything. She is learning to talk to Him daily. She is learning to be honest. She is learning to tell God happy things and sad things. She is learning to ask for things. She is learning that no topic is off limits when praying. She is learning. And in all of her talking, she is building a relationship. Now of course, that relationship is not yet founded in her personal salvation (because she’s not saved YET), but she is learning truths about her heavenly Father in her process of prayer!
God wants to hear from you, too, friend! The God who painted THIS sunset and knows the number of hairs on every single person's head wants to hear from YOU, yes you! The God who knows everything you want to keep hidden wants you to pour your heart out to Him! The God who listens to this precious, sassy, silly girl and all of her ramblings desires to hear the same from you!
He wants to hear the things that He already knows (which is everything, but He still wants to personally hear it from you)!
- What you love about His character TODAY
- Praises for him TODAY
- Things that you’re thankful for TODAY
- What has caused you to hurt TODAY
- What has caused you to worry TODAY
- What you’re scared of TODAY
- What you’re waiting for and dreaming of TODAY
- What happened TODAY
- Happy things from TODAY
- Sad things from TODAY
- Things you’re ashamed to admit TODAY
- Confessions you need to make TODAY
- Prayers for others for TODAY
- Prayers for yourself for TODAY
- Complaints from TODAY (like Riley Grace as she informed God that He didn’t heal my headache after she had kissed my head several times…)
(Do you get the pattern…. TODAY. He wants to hear from you every day and many, many times!)
Yes, you’ll be telling God what He already knows. Some people have these arguments against prayer: Why pray because God already knows anything you could say? Why ask God anything because God is already going to do what He wants?
But God wants you to tell Him what He already knows, and He wants you to ask (even though, yes, He already knows the outcome of the situation you’re praying about) because:
- He loves you unconditionally and far more than you could imagine.
- He desires to hear from you.
- He desires to hear from you daily.
- He desires to hear your heart with raw honesty, even when it’s not a pretty picture.
- He desires for you to run to Him before running to anyone or anything else.
- He desires to speak to you, but you have to be aware of that and listen (meaning quieting the distractions in your life!).
- The relationship will deepen the more you talk to Him and the more you listen to Him.
o Psalm 62:8 – “Trust in Him at all times, o people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
o Isaiah 26:3-4 – “You keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
- EVALUATE: Let’s get practical. When do you pray? How often do you pray? When you pray, how much do you talk about yourself, seek God about His will, worship Him for who He is, repent of specific sins, thank Him for His abundant blessings, pray for others, and/or just listen? Are you in a season of drought when it comes to meaningful prayer? Are you believing any lies from the devil regarding prayer? Do you have any misconceptions about prayer? Are you ready to “pour out your heart” to Him and trust Him ”at all times”? Do you desire to be “in perfect peace?”
- PRAY: Review the list above about things the Lord wants to hear from you, and start praying! Ask Him to revive your prayer life and deepen your relationship together. Ask Him to truly be your Best Friend and Confidante.
Talk to Him, friend, even if you feel like He knows everything you’re going to say, even if He feels far from you, even if you feel like you can’t hear what He’s saying, even if you are angry or hurt, even if you are walking in a spiritual desert, even if you have a million distractions, even if you feel ashamed, even if nothing’s going wrong and you don’t think you have anything to ask Him for. Talk to Him. Build the relationship. Build the trust. Form the daily habit. Be honest with Him. Run to Him with the stories and complaints and hurts before running to anyone else. Your relationship with your Maker will flourish, and THAT is worth the time it takes to stop everything else and PRAY!