Hi I’m Penny Lyons and I’m a singer song writer with the Christian band Out of the Ashes and welcome to God Today. A few years ago my husband, myself, and my son, who at the time was about 11 years old, went to New Wine which is one of the biggest Christian conferences in the UK.
In the evenings they have this thing there called the Market Place which is where people hand out. You find people who are doing amazing ministries in Iran, in China, and wherever. You can find out what they are doing, you can donate money, or you can buy things. My son always wants to buy t-shirts. This particular evening it’s about 9 o’clock in the evening and we’ve just walked past the hot chocolate stand and we can smell sticky buns. We were just about to be diverted by the hot chocolate when suddenly I’m assailed by son who has grabbed ahold of me very, very affectionately, far more affectionately than normal. I look down at him and he’s looking up at me lovingly and I realize that we’re going through a routine.
Kevin and I know this routine well, and actually we’re quite fond of it. It’s when, there’s no other term for it, we’re being worked on. He’s looking up at me and he’s telling me what an amazing mummy I am, something we both know is probably not true. He’s telling me about something that he wants and he knows that the answer is probably going to be no. I know that he’s going to keep asking anyway and we’re both quite enjoying the whole process. It’s fun. It’s a game we play. He knows that if he asks the right way, he doesn’t nag, he doesn’t weedle, he just tells me he loves me and his persuasion is about how much he loves me. Then I discover what he’s really interested in is a 4 foot furry blue thing with a grey beak which I’m told is an emu and he wants this emu to take home with him. I look at this emu and there’s no way that I want to take this emu home, but the fact of the matter is that I find it very hard to look at my son when he’s telling me how much he loves me and not give him what he wants. He knows that very often I will say no, but he knows that just occasionally I’ll weaken.
This whole exchange really brought home to me how God feels about us. I’m often convinced that God gave us children to show us what it’s like to be a Parent to us here on earth. I realized that when we pray and go to God and we ask for things, the right things, He loves us to just go and ask. Yes, He might say no or sometimes He might say wait, not yet. Sometimes He might say, “I’ve got something else in mind for you.” The fact of the matter is is that whatever happens, just like with me and my boy, the exchanged, whatever the outcome, is what brings joy to both sides.
I realized that our time of prayer is such a joy for God as it is a joy for me. There is a Bible reading I wanted to share with you and it’s Luke 18:1-8, “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.” The point of the whole thing is that God loves us to pray. He loves us to pray because it’s part of our relationship with Him. He loves the communion of time with us. He might sometimes say yes. He might sometimes say no. He might sometimes just say wait. But the whole exchange will always bring joy to both sides.
I’d like to close with a prayer, “Father God, we love You so much. We find it incomprehensible that You can love us as much as You do. Father God, would You teach us to pray. Teach us to pray as Jesus taught us, to pray obediently, and to pray with real joy in Your presence. Thank You Lord, amen.”