17th August 2017

Praying for Teddy 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Philippians 4:6 (NIV UK)
 

Last weekend I was approached by a young girl in church. She proceeded to tell me all about her ailing teddy bear; how that he might need an operation; how he’s lost a lot of weight. And then she said: “Will you pray for him?” I said I would and I have.

Now, I understand that some would regard that as charming, others as fanciful and others as something not quite proper for a Christian to do. But to this young girl, the health and wellbeing of her teddy was as important as anything, and was worthy of being prayed about.

In a very similar manner, often what we pray about to our great Father must, at times, seem to him of little more importance than a teddy bear. But we are encouraged to bring anything concerning us to his attention—after all, this mighty Being encourages us to consider him as our daddy (Galatians 4:6).

In my opinion this little girl has a better idea about her great God than many of his adult professed Christian followers. Many go in dread of God. Many approach him with reluctance and with fear in their hearts. Prayer is a chore to them, not a privilege, and certainly not something to be enjoyed. And, yes, we are encouraged to labour in prayer, just as we labour in service to one another. But most times we have little difficulty talking to one another, and often about the most trivial of ideas.

But we are encouraged to approach him boldly (Hebrews 4:16). Really, just as a father loves to hear his young daughter or son prattle on to him at the day’s end about what concerns them in their daily lives, so our Heavenly Father wants us to do much the same with him. And in detail, as incense beaten fine.

There is a lovely picture I have somewhere in my collection of a very young child being enfolded into his father’s lap and surrounded tightly by his embracing arms. This child has been crying, and his dad is comforting him and encouraging him. That’s how I see our Dad. We can bring anything that concerns us to his attention. And his response is to enfold us in his love, in his arms, tightly supporting us with kisses and affection. We can ask anything. There are no restrictions. There’s no limitation that we “pray according to God’s will.” God’s will is that we talk to him and build that all-so-important relationship with him. No wonder Jesus talked and modelled that relationship for us with a young child.

Prayer
Our loving Daddy, may we please give thanks to you for the wonderful and practical images you present to us as to how you want to build a continuing relationship with us. Understanding this relationship is not given to every Christian. Help us to deepen our understanding as we walk closer with you every day. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by John Stettaford

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About the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School,
Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane
READING RG30 4EL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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