By Shawn McMullen
Because they’re active in their church and make Christ an important part of their lives, their family conversations often reflect their spiritual values.
Not long ago, Robin and the children were riding together in the family car. She had given the boys notebooks and pens to keep them occupied on the trip and they were busy writing and drawing. After a while, though, she sensed they were becoming restless. Fearing they might use their pens for purposes other than writing, she decided to give them a little reminder. The conversation went something like this:
Robin: “Boys, make sure you don’t write on your clothes with the pens. Those pens are permanent and it won’t come off of your clothes.”
Griffin: “Maybe it will.”
Robin: “It won’t. That’s why they call them permanent markers.”
Griffin: “But maybe it will. You could try.”
Robin: “You have all written on your clothes before. It never comes out.”
Griffin: “Jesus or God could do it.”
Robin: “Jesus and God don’t do your laundry.”
Griffin: “But they might. Jesus and God can do anything.”
There’s something affirming about a childlike faith that believes—with unquestioning confidence—that God can do anything.
Do we pray with this kind of faith? The Scriptures give us reason to.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7, 8).
“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him” (1 John 3:21, 22).
Of course, this doesn’t guarantee God will give us everything we ask. His plans and purposes are beyond our understanding. But it does challenge us to ask in faith, a faith rooted in holy living and an understanding of God’s will, believing he is capable of fulfilling any request we bring to him.
Years ago, after carefully studying the many promises connected to prayer in the New Testament, I came to a crossroads. I realized I would have to build my prayer life around the teaching of Scripture, or I would have to spend the rest of my life convincing myself and others why Jesus and the apostles didn’t mean what they said.
I chose the first option, and it’s made a world of difference.