by Deb DeArmond
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” Romans 12:12 NLT
“I can’t hear you Debbie,” my mother said.
“I wasn’t talking to you,” was my five-year-old reply.
I do not recall the conversation, but it was one of Mom’s favorites to recount. As she told it, we had experienced a no good, really bad, awful, terrible day. My behavior had been less than desired. There had been upset and tears and enough of my strong will to go around.
As Mom tucked me in that night, she looked at me squarely and said, “You’d better say your prayers and ask Jesus to forgive you for being so naughty today.”
I dutifully bowed my head, closed my eyes, and began my conversation with God.
“You need to speak up. I can’t hear you, Debbie,” Mom said.
I peeked my eyes open and quietly said, “I wasn’t talking to you.”
When somebody tells you to “say your prayers” it typically not an exhortation; it’s a warning suggesting that prayer may be the only way to ward off some impending disaster.
Sounds like good advice.
No matter how old we are, no good, really bad, awful, terrible days hunt us down. And we sometimes show up as less than the shining beacons for Jesus we desire to be. God is not surprised by our behavior – His view of us is a horizontal perspective beginning on the day of our birth and ending the day we go to be with Him. As an all-knowing God, there are no “Oh wow! Did not see that coming!” moments. He knows us, and He loves us still.
He has the best open-door policy, ever. “Come in and let’s talk – you go first,” He suggests. “I’m listening.” And unlike my nighttime prayers with mom, no observers or witnesses stand by to make sure we get it done right. It’s just the two of us.
I see Him in such a myriad of ways: the King on His throne, the Savior who took back the keys of sin and death, the sweet Spirit who nudges me on the right path, and the loving Father whose lap is warm, safe, and familiar. It’s that lap I seek when I need to come to Him, hat in hand to do business and make things right. And when I climb down I am once again free from guilt and assured that my Father and I are solid.
In truth, we are always solid, but the reality of grace is one that I struggle to understand on a daily basis. It may be incomprehensible with my limited human capacity, but I’m grateful that my inability to grasp it is not required for it to be effective in my life.
So, the next time somebody suggests to you, “Say your prayers,” thank them and consider it the best heads-up of the day!
“Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22 NLT
About the author: Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship, and conflict resolution. A writer and professional speaker, Deb addresses topics related to the family and women. Her books include: Related by Chance, Family by Choice, I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last and Don’t Go to Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight! Deb’s books help readers, whether engaged, newlywed, or long-time married, create the life God meant marriage and family to be. You can read more from Deb at Family Matters/Deb.
Join the conversation: What has inspired you to pray lately?