Have you ever prayed with someone else, and you realized their view of God was drastically different than yours? When we pay attention to how we pray, it can reveal what we truly believe about God and our relationship with Him. This was made so clear to me one day when my own daughter acted like an orphan; it made me realize asking God for things is vital to our relationship with Him as our Father.
We, as believers, often don’t realize how important asking is. It shows us whether we are thinking and praying as orphans or children of God. John 16:24 says, “Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” If we want to receive, we need to ask. As we receive, our joy is made full. If our joy is made full, we definitely aren’t worrying, which is a symptom of an orphan mindset. There is no stress in our countenance, only a happy heart.
Asking God for what we need and receiving with joy is a way we eliminate worry from our lives, because our focus is not on what could go wrong but instead on what good things are happening and how God is providing for us. I cover all of this more in my brand new book, Curing Worry God’s Way, but one thing I’ve noticed in my own life, as well as in many other people, is that we often don’t keep track of what we’ve asked for. Often, even after we’ve received it, we don’t even notice.
Back to the story of our daughter acting like an orphan. When our daughter was learning to ride a scooter, we lived in a house with a gravel driveway so the only smooth concrete we had was in our garage. For several months we would park our cars just outside the garage, that way she could ride her scooter around in circles. One day I was sitting on the steps watching her, when all of a sudden, as she was circling around by where I was, she fell down. I had seen her scoot around the garage many times without falling, and she’d been so proud of how she could do it all on her own, so this fall looked to me like she did it on purpose. She didn’t just do it the one time though; she kept doing it over and over. She then started saying it was too hard and she couldn’t do it anymore.
After a few times of attempting to explain to her that I’d seen her do it before, and I knew she could do it, I finally asked her, “When you fall, are you trying to trick me into running around with you as you ride the scooter?” She looked up sheepishly at me and admitted she was. I gave her a hug and told her she didn’t have to trick her daddy into helping her. All she needed to do was ask me. From that point on, when she wanted me to run around with her, she would simply ask, and I would.
No parent wants their children to trick them into helping them with things they know the children are capable of, especially when all they really want is for the parent to do those things with them. If my daughter wasn’t a young child, I would not have used the word “trick” in this scenario, because actually, this is manipulation.
Obviously, this translates over into our children’s relationships with God. The unfortunate thing in all this is that sons and daughters don’t use manipulation to get what they want, orphans do. It is absolutely possible to raise children in a home with parents who still live like spiritual orphans. By talking my daughter through what was happening, I didn’t just teach her to ask me when she wants me with her; I didn’t just teach her not to trick me when she wants something; I intercepted the orphan spirit from gaining her agreement.
All people are tempted to use manipulation with God at some point, which forces the question, why do they try it? In this particular instance with my daughter, she was worried that if she didn’t convince me that she couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t help her. She wasn’t certain I wanted to help her. Not only help her, since she really didn’t need help, what she really wanted was me to be with her. In other words, she was worried that I didn’t want to spend time with her. An agreement with worry is an agreement with the orphan spirit. An agreement with the orphan spirit is shattered by a revelation of the Father. It was worry about who I was as her dad that invited the orphan spirit to influence her. It was my demonstration as her dad that removed that worry.
This is obviously important for us as parents to watch for in our children, but this is also something to watch for in our own lives. What do we teach our children about God if they see us trying to manipulate Him into things instead of asking Him for them? How do we recognize if we have partnered with worry in our relationship with Him? How can we tell if we aren’t certain about who He is as our Father? It can be as easy as paying attention to the way we think and pray.
Here are some thoughts that will help us recognize if we are praying like sons and daughters or trying to “trick” like an orphan:
Maybe I need to make more declarations so God will do this for me. I must have not prayed right, that’s why the person didn’t get healed. God, it’s in your Word so you have to do this for me. I must have not spent enough time with God today, that’s why He hasn’t answered yet.
We have a good Father who wants to give us good things. He doesn’t need to be tricked to want to bless us. He doesn’t rely on formulas to be a good Father. He deeply desires our lives to be filled with joy, so much so that He tells us plainly how to get that level of joy. The more we realize this, the easier it is to trust, ask, and receive, removing all need to trick or manipulate for what we need.
Earlier I quoted John 16:24, but I only included the second half of the verse. Here’s the entire verse in context, “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” Our joy being made full comes from asking and receiving from our Father as sons and daughters.
When you pray, do you ask God for what you need? Do you thank Him for all He has already done? Take some time to connect with God as your loving Father, who is eager to spend time with you and Whose good pleasure it is to give you the kingdom.
HOW TO TEACH THIS TO YOUR KIDS:
Watch for times when your children are trying to get you to help them with something without asking. It can be something as simple as saying “I can’t reach my toy!” In these moments, we want to redirect them toward asking for what they need instead of announcing what they can’t do. What do you need? This a great question to ask in these moments. When they know what they need, you can then ask them to form it into a question, so instead of saying “I can’t do this!” they may ask something like, “Mom, will you help me get my toy from the top of the closet?”
YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE A LIFE WITH WORRY AND ANXIETY!
Living a life of worry has become so common now, many believers have even considered it to be a normal part of their lives. Worry is one of the main elements of many Christians’ relationship with God. The truth is, Jesus paid it all on the cross so you can live worry free with Him as sons and daughters.
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A Week Without Worry: 7 Day Devotional (PDF)
Video Teaching from Seth: Curing Worry with Humility
Living Worry Free: Sermon (MP3)
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