It’s amazing to me how children learn things without being taught. My daughter has great manners for a toddler, but she started doing something that I definitely did not teach her when it comes to using her polite words. If she wants something really badly and I have already said no, she will say, “Pleeeeeease!” As if all of those extra “e’s” will somehow change my mind! Where did she come up with that? Without being taught, my daughter learned how to beg. It is kind of cute, but mostly annoying. And more importantly, it doesn’t impact my decision.
Yet how often do we approach God with a “pleeeeeease!” mentality? Since I started noticing her say this, I have also started noticing myself begging God for the things I want or think I need. Of course, God wants to hear my requests. He loves it when I bring my worries to him and trust in him to meet my needs. Why do I sometimes feel like if I am not emphatic enough, or if I don’t seem desperate enough he will not answer my prayers?
This mentality comes from my lack of belief that I am a daughter of God! My theology says I am a child of God, even a friend of God. However, it’s easy to forget and think of him as a powerful being I just really need something from. But I don’t think God wants me to approach him like a beggar. All of my extra “e’s” in my “please” don’t change his mind. Instead he wants us to approach him like daughters and sons. Like Romans 8 talks about, we are adopted as God’s own children, which gives us the ability to cry out to him as our dad.
There will always be times our prayers aren’t answered the way we want, no matter how we ask. The passage from Romans 8 goes on to talk about how if we are God’s children, then we are coheirs with Jesus. But if we are coheirs, “together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering” (Romans 8:17). As God’s children we have access to all of his kingdom, and we should ask for it. We can’t forget, though, Jesus also suffered greatly, as did the prophets of the Old Testament, the apostles of the New Testament, and believers in the centuries to follow. However, just because we are sure to share in Jesus’ suffering does not mean we should not also boldly ask for what we need and want.
The next time you find yourself coming to God with a “pleeeeease” attitude instead of that of a chosen child, read Romans 8 and be reminded you don’t need to beg God and you can ask him for anything.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:14-15
Lord, thank you for adopting me into your own family and that I can call you “Father.” Help me to have the boldness to approach you as one you greatly love, not someone pleading for a handout.
This devotion is full of funny, heartening, and sometimes challenging (in a good way!) reflections written by moms for moms.