Do not be like [those who pray using empty phrases], for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
— Matthew 6:8 (NRSV)
Each New Year’s Eve we continue a family tradition of shooting off fireworks, ringing in the new year with the old, iron dinner bell, and joining in prayer.
One New Year’s Eve, my young son, Sam, decided to write a message to God and attach it to one of the rockets. He wrote his message on a piece of notebook paper, front and back, attached it to the rocket, and lit the fuse. In seconds, sparks flew and the rocket soared into the star-studded sky in a blaze of glory, the message burning into the night. Afterward, my son sadly lamented, “My message went up in smoke.” This was a perfect opportunity to remind Sam that God knows what we need even before we ask.
We may sometimes feel that fireworks are required to get God’s attention. But in truth, God holds us in loving hands and attends to our every need. In the darkest night, no matter what time of year, we have God’s undivided attention.
The Author: Sarah Justus (Georgia, USA)
Thought for the Day: Every request we make gets God’s close attention.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for always being ready to hear us and to give us what we need. Amen.
Prayer focus: Children learning to pray