A Prayer is. . .

Driving home last night we passed a church along side the road. On its little message board outside was written.
“ A prayer is a wish sent heavenward”.
This was a little sad to me. At first my response was that prayer is so much more than a smoke signal sent to a genie in the sky. I contemplated how such and intimate conversation, a fellowshipping with the Almighty could be reduced to this fluffy little quote. I realized the source of my frustration was the word “wish”, the sound of it brought various pictures to mind. First I imagined a wistful, “what if” being sent to the sky. . .
“Star light, Star bright, First Star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight”
That didn’t bode well at all, Prayer is much more powerful than a flimsy fancy. The next picture that came to mind was that of a blue genie in a bottle. The voice of Robin Williams played in my head.
“You’re wish is my command”
I dwelt on these thoughts for the remainder of the trip. This morning I looked up “wish” in (on) the dictionary.

Wish: an expressed will or desire : Mandate
So I looked up “mandate”.
Mandate: 1 : an authoritative command

I did not like this at all! Who are we to command God, are we to send up a grocery list in a model rocket each time we Need something. Yes, I do believe that our Lord cares about our needs and that he provides for even the smallest desires, however there is so much more than that to prayer! I continued to be uneasy with the statement . . . a wish sent heavenward . . . a wish sent heavenward, I decided to delve deeper into the definition of wish. Maybe there was a different, a better definition.
I found this:

1. A desire, longing, or strong inclination for a specific thing.
2. An expression of a desire, longing, or strong inclination; a petition
3. Something desired or longed for.

Ok, lets work with this: “A prayer is an “expression of desire” sent heavenward”.

That sounds a little better, assuming your desire is that which is heavenward. Even though I was reaching to justify the quote, it was sounding a little better now. Prayer is an intimate conversation with your creator, pouring out your soul before the Lord. Drawing near to the Father in an expression of desire, a desire to know Him, to see Him, to fellowship with Him and to minister to Him. Prayer is the ultimate expression of desire.

So am I happy now with the quote: “a wish sent heavenward”? Well no, not from the thinking it most likely originated but maybe it’s not as shallow as I thought. Made me think anyway. What is your desire?


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