It is 3:00 AM and I am in a deep, hard-earned slumber, when, all of a sudden, I am awakened by my middle child crying out to me from the other end of the house. The instant I am yanked out of my dream and plant my feet on the floor, I am back to reality. I run to her room, trying not to step on any stray toys along the way. I know that scream- I could tell what was wrong as soon as I heard her cry out, she had a nightmare and is scared and needs my comfort. I go into her room, hold her, and console my frightened child. She does not need anymore than that; she just needed to know I was there and to tell me about what she saw so I could make it go away. I check under the bed and assure her the monster is gone, tuck her back into bed, and kiss her goodnight. Before I leave her room, I turn to check one more time at the door and she is already fast asleep. Parents can always tell what is wrong with their children by the tone of their voices and the way they cry. They can also offer unique comfort to their children that make cares vanish instantly.
Our Heavenly Father knows His children’s cries as well. He has the ability to reach down inside of us and see exactly what we are feeling. He can see the emotions that our human minds cannot begin to express. He can also take those emotions from us and give us peace. I am reminded of this and comforted by the passage in Romans 8:26-27 that reads, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts Knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
A great example of a deep, prayerful relationship with the Heavenly Father is the story of Hannah. This woman came to her Father’s throne with her heart wide open when she prayed. We see in 1 Samuel 1:13 that Hannah spoke in her heart to the Lord. She understood the power of the Heavenly Father and allowed Him to search her as she prayed. She laid her hurt, pain, and sufferings at His feet and then walked away from them, fully convinced that he heard her and would take care of her. She had that childlike trust, the kind of trust that allowed her to be consoled and forget the cares that were so heavily burdening her heart. It is so imperative for us to understand that the avenue of prayer is a refuge, a safe house, and a comfort. We must understand that the Lord expects us to leave our cares at His feet so He can take them over for us.
Take comfort in knowing that your Heavenly Father knows you and can understand what you are feeling, even if you do not understand it yourself. The Holy Spirit dwells in us as Christians and when we need him, He can take over and explain the hurt, pain, fear, joy, or thankfulness that we cannot express to our Father (Romans 8:26). When you pour out your heart before the Father, do not forget to leave those things with Him. For a child, all it takes is a cry out for the parent to know what is wrong. All it takes is a hug or a kiss to make the things go away. As children of God, all it takes is a cry from within no fancy words or expressions, no elaborate prayers. All it takes is us pouring out our souls in prayer and being confident that when the burdens have been layed down, we do not have to look back or carry it any longer. Our Father in Heaven will take care of the worries and we can enjoy the “peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
published in the March 2010 issue of Think magazine