When I was about four years old, I had a Little Tikes house-bed – a bed built with a pink base and a light blue roof with little green shudders as the headboard. One of my earliest memories as a child was praying with my parents before bedtime. I vividly remember one night as I was getting tucked into that warm little house bed – my very own house in my own home – my mom asked me what I would like to ask God. It took me a minute to gather my thoughts and out of my curiosity I responded not with a prayer request, but with a literal question: “How many trees are there on the Earth?”.
Every time I remember this memory I always smile. There is something truly special about a child’s faith and wonder. I had heard once before at preschool that Jesus knew the amount of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30), so I simply wanted to know if He also knew how many trees there were on the Earth. During prayer time that night I also asked God to please keep bugs out of my room as I slept, so they would not crawl on me. As silly as it sounds, that was one of my most frequent prayers throughout my childhood. I never got an answer to my initial question about the trees, but deep down I knew that God had the answer. And I am pretty sure I was granted the blessing of a bug-less bedroom each night I requested it. Yes, that was a silly prayer, but each time I prayed that, something profound was happening in my spirit. I was praying through a foundation of trust. I trusted that God would keep me safe through the night and I had confidence that He would carry me through to the next morning.
Be encouraged and run to the Father, go back to that child-like faith. Pray without pressure and keep wonder alive.
Matthew 6:7-8 teaches us that we should pray with confidence and not to obtain God’s favor through babbling. This portion of Matthew emphasizes the importance of fervent prayers over repetitious phrases. Prayer filled confidence does not come from the prayer itself. We may never get a definite answer, or the situation might not change in the way we want it. We can pray for something specific over and over again; but we will achieve nothing if we have not decided to trust in the One we are praying to. It can be so easy to get lost in our own words, or to feel the pressures of needing to pray a certain way. Confident prayers are those that come from faith and are set soundly in the abilities of our Heavenly Father’s power, whether we get the answers we were looking for or not. When we pray with confidence in Him and not in ourselves, our own words, or our own plans, we allow ourselves to let go of control, find comfort in depending on Him, and gather hope in the promises He has for us.
“When you go to pray, there is no need to repeat empty phrases… there is no need since your Father already knows what you need before you ask Him.”
Matthew 6:7-8 (TPT)
Be encouraged and run to the Father, go back to that child-like faith. Pray without pressure and keep wonder alive. For the Father knows the number of stars and calls them all by name (Psalm 147:4), He knows the very amount of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:6), and He already knows what you need even before you ask Him (Matthew 6:8).