One of the many benefits of being a pastor’s kid is that you get to hear the message before most people, sometimes multiple times. How lucky are my kids? I often run through my message Saturday night and Sunday morning before church, just to make sure I’m familiar. Jakob asked if he could listen to me Sunday morning, and of course I let him. About halfway through, he got up and left. I heard him open the printer. I assumed he was getting a piece of paper to draw on, because he had gotten bored. I didn’t mind. I kept on going.
When I finished, he said, “that was good, Dad. I really liked it!” I laughed and said, “Well, you must not have liked it too much, since you left.” As I walked out of my office, I found him right outside using the cabinet between mine and Pastor Dave’s office. He was writing something. He said, “I wasn’t bored. I liked when you said we should have a prayer list, so I started making one before I forgot.” Here is his list:
I was happy, and not just because I made it onto the prayer list. I was happy that he listened to what I was saying and immediately applied it. I’m happy that he wants to be in prayer, recognizes even at his age that he struggles to pray, and decided to do something about it. The things on his list are important enough to him that he wants to remember to regularly pray for them. He doesn’t want to forget. It’s easy to forget, even things we care about. That’s why I suggest making a list. Write down things to praise God for, things to pray for for others, and things to pray for for yourself. When you have that dedicated prayer time, pull out your list and pray over those items. And then keep going to God and asking Him, in faith, to provide. Don’t give up on praying for people or yourself.
Luke 11:5-13 (NLT)
“Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story:“Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.””