Last night my son ended his prayer very sincerely with, "and thank you, God, for my sisters. I mean 'er,' sister. Thanks for just the one, God, not really both.
I tend to be much more reserved, much more "mature" in my faith. We adults have learned procedures and processes, pomp and circumstance. We tend to edit our talks with God, we try out combinations that seem reverent and appealing to someone of His grand position. For example, do you remember the whole ACTS method of prayer? The one where first you were supposed to Adore him, then Confess to Him, then Thank Him. Only when you had done these three things could you then do the asking, the Supplicating. Perhaps this can act as a guide to prayer, but pathetically I remember times when my heart was bleeding but I tried to go through these steps before asking God for help. I tried to say nice things to him, I tried to list all of my sins, I tried to thank him. Meanwhile, I was broken and just wanted a lap to crawl into.
There is a scene from the movie, Anna and the King, which is a great illustration of this point. The King of Siam is sitting on his throne holding court. The room is full of nobles that are so respectful of the king they are bent down, almost prostrate, foreheads on the ground. No one dares look up at him, when all of a sudden the young prince bursts into the room and begins running to his Daddy. He doesn't stop, he doesn't bow, he just runs right into his Daddy's arms and begins to whisper in his ear. Even better, the king wraps his arms around the young prince and bends his ear to listen. There the Dad King sits on his throne in all his splendor, and there's the son running in saying, "Hey, Dad, I need you for a minute. I've got something to tell you." What faith that little guy had in his Dad. He knew he was welcome, he knew he'd be heard.
Even better, the Word of God teaches us this point. It tells us over and over again we are welcome in the lap of God. In fact, we are wanted. We do not come to a moody dictator who needs to be complimented or coddled. We do not come to a locked throne room that needs special words or a hidden combination. We come to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We come to the One who came to us first. (Hebrews 12:18-24) We can crawl into his lap; We can whisper in his ear.
As you read this, I don't know what you are facing. I don't know if it is hurt or if it is gladness. I don't know if it is victory or defeat. All I know is you can barge right into the throne room of Jesus. You can lift your forehead off the floor and jump right into the lap of the Almighty and rejoice, cry, or just simply sit there. You are welcome, You are invited, You are wanted. (Hebrews 10:19-23)
My son has it right and I'd like to follow his lead.
Now, if only I can get him to like his little sister.
Below is the clip from Anna and the King. The part in the throne room takes place at about minute 2:20, so you can fast forward. Take note, that after the scene, the very next thing you see is the King carrying his little one in his arms.