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A Praying Life, Chapter 3


Chapter 3: "Become Like a Little Child" | Week of April 25, 2018

“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”– Mark 10:15

REFLECT:

Adulting is hard. We invest significant time in managing our expectations, relationships, dreams, and responsibilities. We hope things don't fall apart. We anxiously believe everything rides on us. We fear others might see how little we have our life together. So we double down, and try harder to muster up whatever we think we need to make it through.

"Jesus wants us to be without pretense when we come to him in prayer. Instead, we often try to be something we aren’t." (Page 18) We don't use the word 'pretense' much, but essentially, it means trying to make something that isn't actually true appear to be true. We don't have control. We don't have power. Sometimes we don't even have a clue. But we sure hope nobody notices!

Have you ever observed that little kids don't act that way? They operate free of pretense. They simply are. As Paul Miller says in this chapter, "instead of being paralyzed by who you are, begin with who you are. That’s how the gospel works. God begins with you. It’s a little scary because you are messed up." (Page 22) Becoming like a child in prayer helps us get over ourselves.

RESPOND:

At the beginning of Pastor Sean's sermon on Palm Sunday, he said "Our prayer is that the Jesus of Scripture is the Jesus we see and are in awe of this week." The text he shared was Luke 19:28-44, about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem as the coming king who brings peace. In verses 36-38, the disciples get worked up, loudly praising Jesus and making a scene. They are excited about Jesus, and don't seem to care if they might look dumb to others as they shout and lay their coats before the donkey Jesus rides.

The Pharisees, though, think the whole thing is inappropriate, and demand that Jesus shut it down. Here's the irony: the Pharisees are the ones who are so distracted and preoccupied with their own concerns that they cannot see Jesus for who He really is.

Take a few minutes and identify the hang-ups in your life that encourage you to "shut it down" when it comes to being childlike before Jesus.

PRAY NOW:

Now you have an idea of your hang ups – tell Jesus about them. He wants to know what worries you, what gets in the way, and what causes you to focus on the distractions instead of the God who comes to make peace in your life.

PRAY LATER:

This weekend, many guests will be coming to Daybreak for Easter because friends or family invite them. Some of them know nothing about Jesus, the Bible, or church. Others have walked away because of the distractions of life. But this weekend gives them an opportunity to see Jesus for who He really is. Pray that those who don't know Jesus will be able to set aside the distractions and anxieties to see the love and glory of the Prince of Peace who comes to give them rest in Him.

PRAY AS A FAMILY:

This week, your job is to learn from your kids. Ask them what they want to pray about. They get to set the agenda. As you listen to them pray, focus more on the 'how' than the 'what' of their prayers. Are they honest? Are they real? Do they seem to care whether they are praying the right way or not? Take some mental notes for next week's chapter.

Tags : prayer, devotional