Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine.
- Kathleen Norris
Monday was the first day of my daughter’s summer ballet intensive, 1,200 miles away. I woke up early and started to pray.
After a minute I realized I was praying only because there was something I dearly wanted: for Mary to have a good day. My heart was driven by my desires, not by a yearning to spend time with God.
I wondered what I’d do if one of my children came to me first thing in the day and immediately launched into a long list of things she wanted me to do for her. I’d probably say, as gently as possible, “Hey, where’s my hug?” Or maybe, “Wait a minute. I’m a person, remember?”
Ashamed, I began again. This time I focused my heart on being with God instead of talking at him. I’m not sure if Mary’s day was improved because of that. But mine was.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.