I have been thinking about prayer lately. The prayer of a mother of young children - is this the prayer of faith?
When I am tired and my children are ill and my husband is busy at work and I haven't had a decent night's sleep in ages, I pray prayers like, 'Please, God, make her sleep through the night', 'Please God, help me deal with this tantrum', 'Please God, tell me what I can make for tea.' Those prayers are basic, simple, often desperate cries for help. It's times like that when faith comes into action; when I don't feel spiritual, when I don't feel God is with me, when I don't feel anything much at all! That's when my prayer is based solely on the fact that God is my loving Heavenly Father, only He can make my situation better and I can't go on without His intervention.
At times like those, when I am at the end of myself, that my faith is stripped back to its foundations. I find myself asking 'Do I really believe God is interested in what I'm going through?', 'Is it worth praying about this?', and at the end of the day my ultimate question is, 'Does God really care?'. I believe He does, though maybe He won't always get me out of the situation, its a comfort to know I can ask Him to be with me in it.
I wonder how many opportunities for God's intervention I've missed in life because I haven't felt like praying. Since becoming a mother of two, I am getting used to praying without feeling like it, and I think God takes that as faith. In fact, my feeble attempt is all the invitation He needs to step in. When I am 'on form' I can pray in the Spirit, prophesy, sing, and get into spiritual warfare, but when I am hanging on by a thread, and all I have to offer is a quick plea for help, then that's all God needs to get involved.
Like the old lady in the temple, God is happy when we give him what we have, and if all we've got is a couple of small coins, then that's ok:
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." Mark 12 vs 41-44.
Its not the 'wealth' of my prayer that moves mountains - God is the mountain mover, not me. I might be a co-worker with Christ, but He is the one who comes alongside and takes the weight of my burden. I guess I'm learning the balance of being independent enough to trust He's given me everything I need to get on with life, but being dependent enough to ask for it!