We pray hard with the understanding of thoroughness and faithfulness in prayer makes a good petition. The reason we do this is because we truly believe God can do all good things well; that God can do in ways we cannot; that God can when we can’t, that God can use us despite ourselves, and that no matter how crucified we become, God remains with us, even when He chooses to be quiet. It is confidence in God that drives this thoroughness in prayer and inspires us like a fire in our hearts that heroically formulates a prayer, knowing the more we do, the more we can participate in God’s greatness of love of all our neighbors.
I have a 5 year old nephew, Bill, who loves to work with his daddy. When we go out to plant trees, Bill is eager to help. He loves to wear the work boots and cowboy hat and get dirty with daddy. He responds with a devoton to his father, even though he gets distracted with playing in the water puddles and occassionally finding treasures in the windblown debris that is common on open land. Bill is happy to see his daddy’s way of digging, planting, and watering and wants to get involved to such an extent that he likes receiving reminders to get back to work, run after two armfuls of saplings, and work hard on windy and cold days. And at the end of the day, he crawls up in daddy’s lap, places his head on his heart, and takes a nap. Here is how God wills us to live with God the Father, just like Jesus did when he was preparing for the next step of his ministry. Bill is a sign of how we should all live.
Bill is spiritually little. He lives with ardent love of his father and seeks to emulate him. People who see Bill know he loves his daddy. He wears what daddy wears, talks like his daddy, thinks like him, and wants to be with him every chance he gets. It’s hard to get a complaint out of Bill when he’s working, because he trusts his daddy will take care of it.
Bill is simple. Bill’s love of his daddy is not complicated; it is simply true!
Bill wants to be like his daddy because he so loves his daddy he wants to do as daddy does. Jesus came to do His Father’s Will, not His own, and yet He was God. Bill conforms his life to his daddy with joy. There isn’t a long discussion of discernment considering how Bill will look to other kids or his family, ranking himself according to how he will be perceived by others. There isn’t a question because Bill’s heart is convinced of who he loves.
Bill is innocent. He makes mistakes without knowing he’s in error. Adults awe and smile when they see Bill put his hat on backwards or drop lots of saplings because they know he doesn’t know any better and is serious about helping daddy. These are good lessons for hearts that struggle with pure intentions, rash judgments, fickle emotions, and impulsivity. We need to have the same humility of self when we find we are in error. It’s not about us, rather it is about working for God. Oh we need to be responsible, seek to do our best, but in the end, we have to offer up what we don’t finish and let God complete it. After all, it is His work.
Oftentimes, when we pray for somebody after they have died, we pray for their life mission to be completed and be united with that of Jesus. By this generosity, we seek to complete what we as humans innocently neglect to do. God can handle it. Bill understands this dynamic.
May God keep us disposed to accomplish all of our tasks in life, and surrender the rest to Him who can do all things good!