In Grudem’s book Systematic Theology he provides an awesome example of what good prayer looks like and what not so good prayer looks like.
His example is to imagine that you are trying to invite someone to your house.
1. A person walks up to a friend and says,”Hey you should come to my house sometime”. This example is super non-commital. It almost invites someone, but it is unlikely that a person will see that as an actual invitation. This shows that sometimes we almost are praying but we just are not willing to ask God to intercede, we still are trying to do it all by ourselves.
2. A person walks up to a friend and says “Hey can you come over Friday”, but before the other person even has chance to process what was said, the speaker walks away. This example shows how sometimes when we pray we rush. We ask God for something but before God has a chance to answer us we have moved on. Its a very one-sided relationship, with asking for stuff and not really wanting a relationship beyond that.
3. A person walks up to a friend and says, “Hey can you come over to my house for dinner this Friday?”. Instead of running away, the speaker waits for a reply and the date is set up. This is an example of healthy prayer. We put our request before the Lord and then wait for Him to respond. Sometimes the response can take a really long time, but that is real relationship.
This is a great way of explaining to your kids an idea of the different types of prayer, so they can decide what they want their relationship to look like.
Thank you Wayne Grudem for this awesome example!
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page