Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Honest prayers.

Last night, my four-year-old daughter L.E. said a prayer before she fell asleep. Here, verbatim is what she said:

"Repeat after me." (The instructions for her mom and me.)

"Dear God" (Pause, while we repeat.)

"Thank you for the world" (Pause, while we repeat.)

"And the people we see" (Pause, while we repeat.)

"that love me." (Pause, while we laugh.)

She was basically thanking God for all the people in the world that love her. And I thought that qualification was hilariously honest.

I wish I could say that I love my enemies, but the truth is, more often than not I am the older brother in the prodigal son story. I am mad at people that don't deserve good things, getting good things. I am frustrated and angry at my enemies. I do not pray for them or thank God for them.

So where does that leave me? Where does that leave you? I have a prayer that kind of sums up my approach.

There are four characters in the prodigal son story: the prodigal son, the older brother, the father and the servants. Now, I don't want to be the prodigal or the older brother and I'm not God. So that leaves the servants. What do they do in the story? They help throw a party and maybe that's what loving my enemies means. I need to love them enough to throw a celebration in their honor. That takes a lot of love. Not just a little "make it through the day without being cruel to my enemies" love. Big, gracious, overwhelming love.

So that's my prayer, God teach me how to throw parties for my enemies.


Aaron said...

out of the mouths of young ones, so pure! My 6 year old daughter decided to flip off my other 8 year old daughter this week. If thats not good parenting skills I don't know what is?!@@!

Anonymous said...

I have to sadly admit that it has been hard lately to throw parties for those I love much less figure out how to do it for my enemies. Your post is a wake-up call for me. May God teach us all.