By: Sarah Oates-Walker
I have often shied away from prayer. I felt that my prayers were weak, short and sloppy. Even though I had complete faith that God could answer all my prayers, I sometimes doubted that he would answer mine. I am not a great speaker or leader, and I felt inexperienced in how I should be praying. Compared to others, I didn’t feel “Christian” enough.
My daughter and I were in the middle of baking chocolate chip cookies one afternoon when the phone rang. One of my best friends was calling because her infant daughter, River, had a fever of 106 degrees, and Mom was looking for some support, advice and prayer.
As I hung up the phone I turned to my three-year-old girl and said, “That was River’s Mommy – Baby River is very, very sick!”
My toddler’s face twisted in concerned as she gasped and cried out, “OH NO!”
I asked, “Should Mommy pray for her or would you like to?”
“Me pray,” she cried, (speech impediment added for emphasis and cuteness): “Weer Jesus, Sank you for a very fun day. Sank you for very fun blessings. Make Baby River better. Amen.”
Less then 20 minutes had passed and my friend was calling back with an update. As I picked up the phone I said, “Kaylee prayed for River as soon as I got off the phone with you!”
My friend said, “Well, it worked, because her fever just went from 106 degrees down to 93 degrees without any meds!”
It is amazing that my three-year-old daughter said a basic prayer and instantly her voice was heard, her prayer was answered! Her speech is not eloquent, her grammar is far from perfect, and she does not have any clue about the complexities or doctrines of the Christian faith, BUT, she knows that there is a Jesus, and that we pray to Him and He makes us better. She believes that fact, no questions asked!
It’s no wonder Jesus calls us to be like little children.
“In him and through him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12)
She came to God with freedom, freedom from being self-conscious about her words, her age, or what others may think of her. She also came to God with confidence; her prayer was simple and faith-filled. As I looked at my free and confident little lady, I was so proud of her, and a little disappointed in myself! There are still times when I am afraid about what God and others may think of my prayers – are they good enough?
Then I remember 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Now I come before God with new confidence! Confidence in the promise that God’s power is making my weak prayers PERFECT! Just like my daughter’s! I am resting in the freedom that I don’t have to be perfect in prayer for God to hear and answer me!