Parenting has again afforded us some lessons on prayer.
First of all, whenever we give a command to our kids, we always require a “Yes, mom” or “yes, dad”. We are teaching them that they do not have the privilege of asking “why” before obeying. Understanding is NOT a condition for obedience. Instead they are to trust us. Imagine how little we would obey the Lord if he followed this way of thinking…knowing why as a condition of obeying. This wouldn’t be trusting. Honoring authority is the first great decision people must learn to make before they can make other good decisions. (This is a root of sin)
However, recently, Malachi especially has been saying rapidly, “Yes, Mommy/Daddy, but why?” In other words, he has the “formula” right but the heart wrong. We’ve had to clarify our intention…be about the process of obeying, then you may ask why, though we still reserve the right whether to answer or not. This is exactly what we often do when we pray “in Jesus’ name”. It becomes a formula and our heart is not in it. We think the formula obligates God and constitutes our obedience.
Second, we sometimes give them instructions only later to find out they were not followed. We ask why and they say something like, “I couldn’t… [or]…I didn’t know how…” We have quickly realized that we too say this to God; however, as with our kids ignorance or inability is NO excuse for the disobedience. They could always ask for help! This is exactly the lesson of Scripture. We are NOT called to do things we can do. We are commanded to call on Him who can do all things…and wants to bless us!! God typically calls us to things we CAN’T do…for our joy!
Oh if we would but know the heart of God and trust Him….