26 Oct Praying Like Peter Pan
Our small group does a daily email where we list: things that we are thankful for, things we are praying for, and things we are wondering. I say it’s daily, but technically it is Monday – Friday. We figure that we’ll all neglect it on the weekend, so instead of making ourselves feel guilty on Saturday and Sunday, we just skip it. I digress… One of the days, one of our group members mentioned something in their email that I keep thinking about, that has a more significant impact and meaning behind it than I think was ever originally intended. They said, in essence… “I pray like a kid.” This was in the midst of a lot of thankfulness for the simple things in life, stuff like: nail clippers, chewing gum, propane grills, laughter, and motorcycles.
The thought behind the thankfulness and prayerfulness that day was that this person plays like a kid – they are thankful for the simple things in life we take for granted and then in his requests, his prayers are also more simplistic, compared to some of the others in the group (in his humble opinion). Therefore, the declaration was made that they “pray like a kid.”
Pray Like A Kid
I pray like a kid! That’s pretty profound. I think too many of us probably try praying like an adult when we should probably return to more “childish” prayer lives. I think we all need to pray more like kids.
How do little kids pray? Have you ever heard a child praying? They pray for their pet frog or being able to go shooie in the same sentence that they pray for their family or for the ability to go outside and play. Their prayers are so innocent and so honest. They have nothing to hide – thus the thankfulness for going potty referred to earlier.
Children’s prayers show a complete dependence upon God. My prayers, generally do not. I like to remind God of how great I am (whether I think of it this way or not) and really only pray for the things that I “can’t handle myself.” Is that how you pray? Deep down inside, do we only go to God when the situation lends itself to something that is “God-sized” and not something that I can do alone? Do we only pray to ask God to cure someone’s cancer, because we can’t do it? Do we only go to God when our children have strayed away from Him and from us and we just don’t know what else to try? Is God a last-resort or do we really depend on Him?
I Surrender All
Pray like a kid! Completely surrender yourself to God and show Him that you realize you are 100% dependent upon Him for blessings and for help in times of trouble. We need to surrender every bit of ourselves to the One who made us. We need to pray like God can do something about our requests. I think sometimes I even just throw out some prayers to God that I don’t intend for Him to even address – almost like… I have to pray so, I may as well pray like the other adults do.
Christians Should Be More Peter Pan-ish
I’m not saying that a Christian shouldn’t mature – the Bible says we should, especially in our knowledge of God and His word and His will. We need to start eating solid food, not just the milk of the word as directed by the Hebrew writer (Hebrews 5:12). So, we should mature. What I mean though is that we should remain as child-like as possible in our spirits and our attitudes. This isn’t a new concept, Christ tells us the same. In Matthew 18, His disciples come to Him to ask Him who is the greatest in the kingdom. Matthew 18:2-4… “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”
Christ wants us to have a childlike disposition, dependent upon the Father. I think our prayers should reflect more the dependence on God, our faith in Him that we should have.
Trying to Get to Neverland
I’m thankful for my friend’s admission that he prays like a child. What a great reminder to me that I need to do the same. In our dependence on God, dependence upon the Father – I’m still a kid. I want to “enter the kingdom of heaven” like Jesus talked about in Matthew 18.
I’m still just trying to make it to “Neverland” one day. I don’t ever want to grow up if it means that I lose that childlike attitude and dependence upon God. Maybe making our prayers a little more “kid-like” will help us along that journey.
Prayer List Ideas
What kinds of things should you pray for? I think this is different for everyone. I am a simple kind of guy so my personal prayers reflect that. As it relates to the thoughts of this article, over and above everything else, I think our prayers need to reflect our dependence upon God – the list of what you pray for I don’t think is as important, but you should pray and pray often. In fact, the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we are to “Pray without ceasing.” God wants to hear from His children!
I will tell you what works for our small group. We maintain a printed prayer list that we can take with us wherever we go. We break down our prayers into a few different categories…
- Thankfulness – remember to thank God for everything. Thank Him for your good health, thank Him for your friends, thank Him for the color blue – absolutely everything.
- Church – These are items that impact our church directly (we all go to the same church) – Could be something like an elder selection process or someone at church that just became a Christian or even a building expansion decision.
- Cancer – Unfortunately cancer has a list all by itself – we all know too many people impacted by cancer, so we pray for those as a separate category.
- Our Group – These are specific things to our group that we have opened up to each other about – could be a family member we want others to pray for or just something that we struggle with and need prayers and support from others for.
- Hurting and Recovering – We all know people that have lost loved ones and are hurting from that – we also all know folks that are recovering from illnesses or other difficulties in their lives.
- Praise – This goes with the thankfulness section sometimes, but sometimes this is just more of a declaration of God and who He is and what He is. God is good, God is love, He speaks and the mountains quake…
Pray Like Peter Pan!