I got this article in my Timberdoodle newsletter (it’s a homeschool thing) today and I thought it was insightful, so I am quoting it in its entirety. If you’re interested, you can check out Timberdoodle here.
Long after our family began to understand and embrace the complete sovereignty of God, we still puzzled over the necessity of prayer. If God already knew our heart, and more importantly had already planned the outcome, what was the point of prayer? I won’t pretend that we have thoroughly unraveled that mystery. However, for our family, a delightful little girl named Krissy has given us a better understanding of prayer.
Because Krissy’s autism had resulted in severe language delays, she did not naturally ask questions. Even when she became able to make her needs known with one or two word demands (“Milk, please”) she was unable to ask, “Can I have milk please?” During the training phase we would constantly prompt her by saying, “Ask.”
One day, out of the blue, she asked/demanded “Disneyland.” “Ask!,” we responded. Then began a very laborious process as she worked at remembering and saying the right words, in the right order. Finally she stammered out, “Can I go to Disneyland please?”
Why did we make her go through all that effort when we knew there was no hope for a yes answer? Krissy’s autism hinders her from seeking out the most basic of relationships. When she demands something, she assumes she deserves a yes. Which implies no need for a relationship or dependence on us. As she learns to ask and not demand, she is beginning to understand that she needs us, she needs relationships.
Likewise, it pleases God when we move beyond our shopping list of demands. Even when He already knows that it would not be in our best interest to grand many of our requests, He allos us to labor in our prayers knowing that the asking will reinforce both our relationship with HIm and our dependence on His wisdom, while refocusing us to treasure Him above His benefits.