When Eliza won’t share her bike with her sister, I pray. I don’t pray that Psalter will get a newer bike or that Eliza will be nice. I pray that Eliza will have a heart that is generous.
When Jacob cries because he’s losing at Madden on the Wii, I don’t pray that he would become good at video games. I pray that he would not find his identity in wins or losses.
When Psalter is a tornado in our home, leaving messes everywhere, I don’t pray that she will be neater. I pray that we will help learn to be responsible and to care for others by picking up her things.
It is easy for me as a father to pray for the underlying heart behind my children’s problems or behaviors. They would probably like to see the problem fixed or for it just to go away, but that’s not what they really need. There is a deeper work that needs to happen in order to shape them for a lifetime.
This week in church, one of the verses we looked at was Hebrews 7:25, which says, “Therefore [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” And I began to wonder, “What is Jesus praying for me? What does it mean that He is praying for me?”
I think that His prayers for me (and for you) are much like mine for my children – I think I know what I need, I think I know what my problem is, but He sees the deeper need. He addresses the root that drives the behavior that I might be changed for life.
It would be amazing to hear those prayers sometime.