“Mom, you’ve never taught me to pray”. This was the statement that rolled off the tongue of my 12 year old. I tried to hold my facial expressions back a moment. For a child whose parents are both pastors, how could MY child say this.
Over the years we have been a very open family. Meeting together to discuss goals and our family vision have been something that is very common in our household. Family devotions are not uncommon and we have talked and prayed about many things and our kids have prayed too.
What I would learn through conversation was that my daughter was asked to pray out loud with other adults at a meeting for our children’s program and her nerves got the best of her. She was afraid of what might come out of her mouth and wasn’t sure if what she was about to pray would be good enough or even acceptable.
What a great conversation that was able to take place. How often do many of us make prayer about way more then it actually is. I don’t care about how my children approach me in conversation. I don’t worry about the words they use and if it is perfect grammar and spoken with great eloquence. No! I just want to be with my kids.
That, my friends, is the heart of our Heavenly Father. He just wants to be with us.
One of my favourite scriptures is the vine and the branches and Eugene Peterson in the Message talks about our being in God’s presence as “home”. I love that imagery so much as home is supposed to be the most comfortable place. When you get home you take your shoes off and put your track pants on (or is that just me ;)). You pour a cup of coffee or tea and you snuggle with a blanket in your favourite chair. There is no pretense at home. There is no fussing. When you are together as family you let your guard down. You are safe.
“But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.” John 15
I love home décor but my rule is that it still has to look comfortable and lived in. I want people to relax and feel at home. But there are those houses that look like a magazine and everything is absolutely perfect. The pillows are puffed and perfectly placed and you’re not really sure where to sit. So you sit propped up on the edge of the couch, you feel nervous, a little, as you aren’t sure what to do. They offer you a drink and instead of saying “yeah that’d be great” you say “Yes, that would be wonderful. Thank you”. You don’t dare sit back or even worse put your feet up on the coffee table.
But I believe God wants you to do just that. Put your feet up. Snuggle in close. Throw off the days demands and expectations and just be with him. Don’t think about your “list” of things you need to pray for. Don’t hurry through to the next thing. Be with Him. Just sit and pause for a minute or two.
I love the heart of my little girl. She and Jesus actually have such a sweet friendship and she really hears from Him. She doesn’t overthink it. It’s just a natural outflow of her faith. There are many times when she inspires me the way she hears God speak to her.
I encourage you today, wherever you are in your relationship to God, to make yourself at home in God. Do whatever you need to do to create a space where you can just relax and be yourself. Pick a chair or the couch, I like to light a candle and snuggle in a blanket. If you like to journal, buy a new one and write down your thoughts or prayers. There are so many great devotionals out there to get to the conversation going. But take the time to get to know God. He has so much to say to you and wants to overwhelm you with His love if you will just stop and lean in. Over time, I pray your moments with God will become like those characteristics of home.