by Peter Swann
One thing about conversations with four-year-olds is that you never know how they will go. They are generally guaranteed to be interesting, and likely amusing. I’ve found this particularly to be the case regarding prayer, at least with our son, Timothy.
Timothy has no clue of what seems reasonable or not, so he just asks God for anything. Healing? Check. Radical provision? Check. Raising from the dead? Yep. Miracles of any form? You got it. There’s no limit to what Timothy will pray for.
My reaction to this has perhaps been less than godly. Theologically I know it to be the case, yet internally I find myself blowing off his prayers a bit. I always think that God could answer them, but likely won’t. I diminish them, to my shame.
The truth is that those God-sized prayers are exactly what we should all be praying. After all, there are no miracles for God. It’s all just common, ordinary stuff. It’s just God doing what God does. Praying those prayers is like asking me to tie my shoes. There’s just nothing to it.
So I’m pressed by Timothy’s example to ask what I’m praying for. I’m reflecting on how big my prayers are, since it’s a reflection on how big I think God is. It’s also a reflection of my faith, and I’m longing for the faith of my four-year-old. Simple, pure, absolute faith… just letting my heart reflect what my mind has long held to be true.
I long for this for all of us. A people praying God-sized prayers are a dangerous people. They are best primed to see a great move of His Spirit. Fervent, desperate God-sized prayers have the capacity to change the world as we know it.
For Timothy, this is standard stuff. It may also be said, though, that his expectations go beyond where mine could ever go. On one certain day, during our nightly devotion time, Timothy began to explain how he was praying for Satan. He was asking God to change Satan’s heart, leading him to repentance and transformation. Unfortunately, Scripture would indicate that can’t come to pass, but you sure can’t fault Timothy’s effort.
I long to be found like him, just praying God-sized prayers.