I get the opportunity to pray for many people. People in my Sunday school class share prayer requests, women in my Bible study share prayer requests, and friends ask for prayer. Sometimes I can sit down and have dedicated time to pray for all of these requests. More often I simply pray for people in my life as they come to mind or as I'm doing mundane daily tasks.
Last night I was in bed and remembered someone I wanted to pray for. That reminded me of another prayer request. And soon I was checking off my mental list of prayer requests.
Then I got the Godly pat on the head. I had a mental image of myself walking around my house with a handyman following me, pen and notepad in his hand. I was dryly naming tasks I wanted him to perform. "This trim is loose, so please nail that back in. See if you can fix that part of the floor. Let me know if you have an idea for this area here."
That's how I was treating God in my prayer time. I was just making sure all the items on my list were on His list as well.
I haven't always treated God like a handyman. I've spent quite a bit of time at the other extreme, where I approached God with fear and no real personal connection. This time think of Dorothy, the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tinman approaching the wizard in The Wizard of Oz. My dad always loved the scene where the lion got so scared of the Great and Powerful Oz that he ran and jumped through the window. I've known a lot of people who barely approach God and end up running in the other direction out of fear of what He will say.
Last year God really helped me to see him as a personal God who is present with me in every moment. What an amazing revelation. Last night I realized that I need to keep the balance of remembering that God is great and powerful. I can and should be very comfortable talking to him, but He doesn't deserve to have me list jobs for him to do while I barely glance at Him.
The Bible is very helpful in giving us a more full and balanced view of God.
"Great is our LORD and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." Psalm 147:5
"For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'" Isaiah41:13
"The LORD your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
"There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." Deuteronomy 1:31
"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:15-16aGod is not my handyman, and He is not the Wizard of Oz. He is the creator of the entire universe, and He also knows the number of hairs on my head (the brown ones and the gray ones!). I will never fully understand Him as long as I'm still on this earth, but I'm so glad he continually helps me to focus in on the vision of who He truly is.