A Child In Prayer

Thielicke, speaking about the petition for daily bread:

"A father who would not listen to everything his child says would not be a father. He may smile because the child so often has so little sense of proportion, because the child grieves more over a lost screw in his toy train than the destruction of his parental home, because the child has so little understanding of the difference between great and small things, but he listens nevertheless. God does not want only to be 'praised'; nor does he want us to simply go on saying, 'Thy will be done' and all the while, deep down under our own words, be tormenting ourselves because we have our own will and our own cares and troubles and are only suppressing them out of a kind of religious politeness which we associate with piety. Let us not fool ourselves: the Father knows what we are thinking. And so we can let out even our most secret desires. In other words, we should not only praise God; in this petition and intercession there is power and God has promised to listen (Luke 11:5 ff., James 5:17)."

I am often that child in prayer. Agonizing over much of little import while giving scant thought to such things as the hearts and souls of those around me. And so I found these words, and this whole sermon, both convicting and encouraging. For I am reminded to do the former, taking to God the things that burden me, no matter how small they be, but I am also urged to do the latter, praying over that which is of eternal significance and asking for God to change my heart so that one day what burdens me, and what I agonize over in prayer, will include those things which burden Him.

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