It was a game night. The kids were playing an overly complicated game called Surprise Slides!. Hubby was staying in the room with them to referee turns and to constantly flip the pieces of the game board that were too difficult for young hands to take out of the board and flip over.
I was in the dining room, cleaning up from dinner while I listened to Hubby and the kids play. Owlet had just won the first game, and they were starting a second game when I saw Monkey out of the corner of my eye. He bowed his head and quietly said, “Lord, let me win this game. Amen!”
Monkey never wins anything. His overly competitive older siblings are always better at him at everything than he is. Sometimes Owlet will luck out and win a game of chance (like War), but usually Monkey doesn’t have the luck to win. Winning to him was something that he needed help with–something he couldn’t do on his own. As soon as I heard him, a verse from James popped into my head.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting to see Monkey win either.
I can’t say how many times I’ve prayed for something just because I “need” it for my own security, self-worth or just for fun and not received it. So many times, even when praying for others’ salvation, good behavior, etc., I’ve prayed prayers to God but on my heart was really the need to look good in front of others or my own pride.
However, on this night, God in his infinite mercy, answered Monkey’s prayer. Monkey won the game of Surprise Slides. God had proved himself able to answer Monkey’s prayer. Even though it was a “little thing.” Even though he asked just for himself.
I was surprised. And he was happy.
Then, I remembered how often God has answered my little prayers. The ones for provision. The ones for something material to use with the kids or for myself. The ones for good behavior in a child so that I’ll look like a good parent. The ones for healing for convenience or for my own comfort. The ones that are full of earthly concerns that have no matter in the light of eternity.
Sometimes I ask amiss.
Sometimes God answers my prayers anyway.
God is a loving parent. Just like I’m a loving parent. When I heard Monkey’s prayer that night, my heart immediately went out to him, and I wanted him to win. I have to believe that sometimes God, just like myself as a loving parent, wants to give us the things that will make us happy. I suddenly remembered another verse from James.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father or lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
He gives us what we need. Sometimes those things are little things. Sometimes those things are things that we want, like winning a board game. In giving to us, God proves to us both His love for us, and His faithfulness, so that we can learn to trust Him in the times that we don’t get what we want because it would be harmful to us or because we need something else (or something better) to help us grow.
After thinking about this, and about Monkey and the board game, I’m thankful for God’s answers to prayers. I’m thankful for His faithfulness to me. I’m thankful that He demonstrates His love toward us in all things big and small. I’m thankful that when he answers a prayer, I can trust that it’s His will for me, and that it’s the right thing for me.