The other day I went with my daughter-in-law to babysit her two grandchildren while their mom (my granddaughter) went to work. Mom had everything in order: the children had eaten their breakfast, they were dressed in clean and adorable clothes, lunch was planned, clothes and diapers were in order, and snacks were available. As she was talking at the door with the adults, her two-year-old son began to push her out the door. “Go,” he said as he shoved her outside. “Bye,” he tried again waving with a smile of anticipation for grandma time. Even his little one-year-old sister had no great desire for mom to stay. The picture was cute.
Then I thought about this picture. Is this how we treat Jesus? Our rote prayer with little thought offered to our God who loves us and provides for us. Like a preschooler, our needs are met and then we spend little time talking/praying with our provider, “friend,” and Savior.
It is acceptable behavior for my little great-grandchildren to rush mom out the door and welcome in grandma. In fact, it is comforting to mom that all is well with her children; however, if they were to neglect talking and playing with her all the time, her heart would be broken.
How many times do we stand at the door waving goodbye to Jesus and neglecting time with Him in prayer? Too often we receive all our needs from Jesus, but forget to “visit” with Him in prayer. Our busy schedules shove thoughts of our provider to the back burner. Unlike my great-grandchildren waving goodbye to mom, the picture of us waving goodbye to Jesus breaks his heart. “Let us leave the elementary teachings and move on to maturity” (Heb. 6:1). Let us mature in our faith and desire to spend time getting to know Jesus. As the old hymn says, “He walks with me, and talks with me, and tells me I am His own.” Don’t push Him away.
God calls us to fellowship with Him (1 Cor. 1:9 ESV). We don’t pray to change God’s heart, but to get to know God’s heart. We go to church and listen to the preacher teach and pray; some of us go to Bible studies and study the Word and pray; some might even go to prayer meetings. We are getting to know our Savior’s heart.
Scripture says to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). In my early walk with Jesus, I pondered this question. How could I carry on my daily responsibilities if I was to be in a constant state of prayer? “Pray without ceasing” does not mean we must always be mumbling prayers. The word means “constantly reoccurring,” (Bible Exposition Commentary, vol.2, by Warren W. Wiersbe p. 189). Our prayer life should be part of an ongoing conversation with God. We can pray in our hearts. We can pray out loud. We can pray in a group; we can pray when we are alone. God wants us to know him. He wants to be our friend and visit with us. He wants us to tell him what is on our mind. Let’s be in communion with God at all times. “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16 NIV).
Don’t wave goodbye to Jesus. Be in prayer and fellowship all the time, any time, and anywhere.
My lesson learned from little ones,
John 15:15 “ We are God’s friend.”
Ephesians 6:18 “Always keep praying for the Saints.”
Romans 8:26 “When we do not know what to pray, the Spirit intercedes.”
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