1. Prayer is a privilege.
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History describes how Abraham Lincoln’s son, Tad, would bypass his father’s secretary and dozens of constituents waiting for an audience, fling open the president’s office door, and crawl up into his father’s lap. Any time of the day or night, no matter what important business he interrupted, Tad knew he had immediate access to the president because he was Abe Lincoln’s son.
I can’t walk into the Oval Office and strike up a conversation with the president. Nor do I have the freedom to approach my governor, senator, or even my family doctor without an appointment. But I can talk to God any time I want because I’m one of His children. Remember how Jesus taught His disciples? “This then, is how you should pray, ‘Our Father . . .’”
2. Prayer is simply talking to God.
Sometimes we forget that God is a person—a holy and extraordinary Person—but a person, nonetheless. From the moment He created Adam and Eve, He’s communicated with His people. He walked and talked with them in the Garden. He spoke to the Israelites from a fiery pillar and a bright cloud. Now He communicates with us through the Bible and prayer. We can share our dreams, hopes, fears, and needs with Him and rest in confident assurance that He hears every word we say—fancy or frantic. Our children need to know they can speak, and God will hear.
3. Prayer isn’t about saying the right words; it’s about sharing our hearts.
Memorized prayers have their place, but Jesus offered what has become known as the Lord’s Prayer as a guide, not a text to be memorized and repeated mindlessly. The Bible is filled with examples of simple, heartfelt communication between God and people. “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner (Luke 18:13). “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). “Lord, we don’t know what to do” (2 Chronicles 20:12). Thankfully, we don’t have to have a big vocabulary or pray eloquent prayers to get God’s attention. He just wants to hear what’s on our hearts. Some of the sweetest, most faith-filled prayers I’ve ever heard have come from the lips of young children.
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