Have you ever heard anyone start their prayer by humbly saying, “Dear Lord, it’s me. I know you feel like I am shaking you down, but we really need you again”?
These were the sweet words communicated from my oldest daughter’s lips while we were praying as a family about a situation that had suddenly arisen. I could not contain my laughter and my youngest daughter could not contain her shock. But, we all chuckled so hard it took us a few minutes to gather our composure to pray with more earnestness.
Earlier this month she was worried about her very last college tuition bill that was due before she graduates in December. God has blessed her many times in her years at Northwestern State University with scholarships that have helped with the burden of tuition. It seemed as though this last bill was having to come out of her meager pockets so she became concerned. I explained to her that God cares about the things that concern us, not matter how large or how small.
I refused to let her be anxious about it so I spent a lot of time explaining that God has brought her this far and he will not leave or forsake her now. We took it to Jesus and did not worry about it again. Sometime the next day I felt led to ask her if she completed the annual scholarship applications in a timely manner.
I am not sure about your children but sometimes mine need reminding to handle their business.
Much to my surprise, she said she did so we checked on the status of her application. A few days later she was notified that she was awarded a scholarship that took care of seventy-five percent of her tuition. You could hear the hallelujah chorus being sung from our kitchen from miles away. We were just so grateful and could not contain our praise.
A few days after this joyous occasion she was hit with the news that her car was in need of repair and it would cost a few hundred dollars. We prayed about this and the very same day she received this news she also received a COVID check from NSU. It was completely unexpected but could not have come at a better time. It was almost as if God was working things out before she even knew there was a need. He’s been known to do this from time to time.
While I admired my daughter’s honesty and frankness in her prayers I did wonder if Jesus ever gets tired of hearing from us. We talk to him daily, we thank him daily and sometimes we do need him to show up and help us. We routinely bring everything to him and lay it at his feet. He is truly the friend we run to first and that is exactly how she was addressing him, as a friend.
Prayer time for me and my girls has always been a special time and this was one of the things we were most excited to continue when my oldest came home from her travels. It gives us each a few moments to share what is on our minds for the day and remember those who also need prayer. In this particular prayer where she was “shaking the Lord down” she was asking for help again and it is my belief that he loves hearing from us even when we are in need.
It is an easy lesson to teach someone to trust God when their prayer is being answered. Not all prayers are answered in the way that we wish and that is part of life. Our true test of friendship comes when we can continue trusting even though we are not totally happy with the outcome or we are having to wait longer for answers. The bigger test of friendship with our savior comes when we can be joyful while we wait and content while we trust.
Take heart if you find yourself “shaking the Lord down” for help. That is exactly what he wants us to do.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6