My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways. Proverbs 23:26
When I come downstairs in the morning, and my kids pounce on me with requests and demands, I lose it. I haven’t even had coffee yet. Their rapid fire babble leaves my head spinning and my heart aching. I don’t want to be just a source for their needs to be met; I want to feel welcomed, loved and embraced for just being me.
So, I always step back, look them in the eyes, and ask to be greeted and hugged first. Once our connection is reestablished, then I’m happy to do what I can for them.
God doesn’t require this from us, but we should require it of ourselves.
Lauren Daigle has a song called First. In it, she says, “Before I bring my needs I will bring my heart.” It goes on to talk about all the ways we should welcome in and honor God before we pepper Him with our requests and demands. He too wants to reconnect with us, but for different reasons than I have with my kids.
My need for my kids to reconnect with me before demanding things is about me. I want to feel loved and valued by my children.
God’s desire for us to reconnect before stating our needs isn’t about Him; it’s about us. Too often, we make prayer a rant, a list of demands, a one-way dialogue. We bark out our agenda, make the sign of the cross, feel we’ve completed the task, and of we go. We don’t often get quiet, and seek Him out.
God knows the peace we’ll feel if we let Him envelope us with grace. He knows we’ll see everything differently if we let Him show us His perspective. He knows we’ll feel loved if we just give Him our hearts. Why would we rob ourselves of that? Isn’t that what we’re going to Him for in the first place?
I challenge us all to try reversing things in our prayer time. Rather than first unloading all our cares and worries on God (which He absolutely welcomes), and then getting quiet, let’s try bringing our hearts to Him first. We’ll be astounded by how light our burdens get even before we hand them over. Most of all, we won’t miss out on the abundant grace He’s just waiting to shower us with.
Questions for Reflection:
* In prayer, do I unload all my cares and worries first, and then get quiet to hear God’s response?
* Have I ever tried reversing the process and bringing Him my heart before all else?
Claire, how on target you are in this honest sharing of what can be described as
a one sided focus: our needs coming first ,which we then carry into God’s Presence, and our prayer time ends up as a list of those needs, legitimate, for sure, and which God loves to hear, but which is so forgetful on our part of what true friendship is, with God, or anyone for that matter … a genuine listening to the other, who longs to share something sacred of themselves, to build mutual friendship and understanding. How true does this apply to our loving Father Who never forces our recognition of and gratitude for His unconditional Love for us, but waits patiently for us to grow and mature, where finally we enter His sacred Presence with praise and thanksgiving … then only presenting our earnest needs … and finally becoming still to hear what God is saying to us, either through His Word or within the stillness of our hearts.
How blessed indeed your lovely children are to have a mom like you, enlightened and awakened to the genuine requirements of true love, and I’ve no doubt that, as your love for Christ is so real and so honest, your children’s hearts are and will ever be truly filled with deepest love for you.
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Jackie, I love your reminder that our relationship with God is a friendship. So beautiful! And on the friendship note, I can’t express how grateful I am for your friendship. Thank you for always reading and always investing your heart and soul in your comments. You bless us all with your deep insights and love of God!