If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God, you'll be at rest. -Corrie ten Boom
We put Rylie's nightlight away at her request a few weeks ago. She'd wasn't afraid of the dark when she was teeny and then somehow recently discovered there must be frightening things that lurk in the dark.
I remember being deathly afraid of the dark when I was around her age. My family lived in a double-wide trailer on what we called "our hill" up a windy dirt road. At night the coyotes would howl loud enough to create an eery serenade. I worried every night they were going to jump through my bedroom window and feast on my nine-year-old flesh. I remember calling out to my parents, afraid.
"The dark isn't bothering me anymore"
"That's good," I answered.
"It's because I prayed about it," she shared.
"Well maybe you should pray about your school fears," I retorted.
"I will. But I'll probably have to wait a few days before it works. He made me wait a few days before answering the dark thing and I bet he'll make me wait a few days on this one too."
She reminds me of a few things about prayer.
1. We often have to wait. Thankfully we can lift up a prayer in a breath's moment. In that moment God fully hears and understands. He knows our prayer even before we pray it.
Before a word is on my tongue, you know all about it, LORD Psalm 139:4
Waiting for the answer to our prayer isn't so easy. We want our fears and troubles resolved. The important thing is, we don't wait unheard and we don't wait alone. Instead of waiting for the answer we want to our prayer which sometimes we never feel like we get, we must remember that "God is the answer". Period.
...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength...they will run and not grow weary. Isaiah 40:31
2.We do good to remember that God does answer prayer. I'm thankful that Rylie recognizes that. I have such a prayer list for God that I regularly neglect to look back and remember all that He has done. His answers to prayer are always praiseworthy. Thing is, His goodness has to be remembered in order for me to praise Him for what He has done.
Everyone who is pleased with God's marvelous deeds will keep them in mind. Psalm 11:2
3. Trust God in prayer. I've been convicted in the past of my attempt to be Jason's Holy Spirit; reminding him of all the things that need to be done. I lovingly share all that he could do to make things right in the world. Though I backslide, I officially quit that job. That hasn't stopped me from maddeningly reminding God of all the things that need to be fixed. I'm really good at telling him the answer I think he ought to come up with for all the ills. God knows what is best. And even though he allows us to pray on our own behalf and the behalf of others, we do best to trust Him with the answer.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
Don't bother to give God intructions; just report for duty. -Corrie ten Boom
Prayer is handing over what we can't and shouldn't handle. It's trusting and praising the One we know holds all things and each of us in His hands. Thankful for this reminder in the dark.