No, I did not say I do not want to pray. The “get things through prayer” is not so attractive to me, feels cold to me, leaves me alienated when I do it, not liking me so much, wondering what Christ thinks, wondering if I am at Sears instead of in heavenly realms.
Yes, I know that God is the ground of all, the Father of lights and the giver of all good gifts. Yes, I know that Jesus says “you have not because you ask not”. And again, Jesus often asks of those who seek him, “what do you want me to do for you?” And then there is the Lord’s prayer – give us this day our daily bread.
But everytime I see the big-teethed, teased-hair televangelists trying to coax me to get God to open up his big bag of gifts for me, I literally scream at the TV. I do. I scream. It reminds me of those daytime game shows where everybody is jumping up and down in excitement about the gifts on the stage. And I scream at the TV then, too. I do. I scream.
Prayer has become much more of what I want to say to God, to hit the ball back across the net, the ball he first hit my way by putting his Son on the cross. Prayer is much more about romancing him, reflecting back a borrowed glory, taking aim at him to give him my heart. If I can just have that moment with him….
Maybe I do not see how needy I am. Maybe I should have more stuff and am not willing to risk faith. Maybe I haven’t bottomed out and desperation is only a word but not a circumstance. I am willing to admit that. And I am willing to say that at some point the missing of some thing or one will make me pray “for” and not just “to”.
And, just in case you are my friend and wondering if I pray for you, I do. I am not sure “for” is the right word. Maybe “present” comes closer to the reality. I gather you up in my palms and hold you before God and say “here he is” or “here she is”. I want to see God seeing you. Then I can rest.