Our oldest child is turning 4 in a couple of weeks. Like any doting parents would, we have been inquiring into his birthday wishes. For his second birthday we surprised him with a cake designed like the trolley on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and ever since he has requested trolley cakes for his birthdays…until a couple of weeks ago when his request was for a shark cake. A shark cake! I’m still not sure if that means a cake shaped like a shark, made out of shark, or with a shark topper. Whatever it is, his little heart is set on it and when he talks about his birthday plans he includes the shark cake as if it’s a done deal. There is no doubt in his mind that it’s going to be there.
His confidence is contagious and before I know it I find my mind perusing all the possible ways I can grant his request. Do I know someone who could make it? Could it be special ordered from the grocery store? Could we get an ice cream shark cake? Should I find a shark cake mold and attempt to make it myself? And then, very quietly, it dawned on me that this is how I should approach the throne of God with my requests. Persistent. Confident. Joyful. Carefree. Exuberant. Faith-filled. There’s that parable that Jesus told about the woman who kept coming to the king with her request. Eventually he granted it because she wouldn’t stop asking. Jesus tells us to be relentless in our prayers because doing so shows our faith in a very real God who loves His children.
My little boy does not filter the requests he makes to us. He just blurts them out. Some are outrageous; some are silly; some are endearing; some are doable. But every time he asks something of us it gives us a glimpse into his heart and mind and helps us to know him a little better. It also draws us into a closer relationship with him since he knows we are tuned in and care about what matters to him. I believe it is similar with Jesus. He wants us to approach Him unfiltered – to tell Him everything that is on our hearts: the outrageous, the troubling, the silly, the heart-wrenching, the impossible. Bringing every aspect of our lives to Him brings us closer to Him and offers more opportunities to see Him move in the smallest details in our lives.
I am going to pray more. And you better believe there will be a shark cake at our boy’s birthday party.
Are there prayers you don’t say because you think Jesus doesn’t care about them?