God Wants To Fix Your Transmurner Before You Ask Him

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him…(Matthew 6:8)

I struggle with prayer.

Conceptually and practically.

Most of those struggles are probably because I put unwarranted credence on my feelings at any given prayer moment. If I don’t feel a tangible groaning, or a burning in my chest, or goosebumps on my neck, then my prayers must have been rendered ineffective. Right? If I voice my prayer simply and without a series of major spiritual manifestations then certainly my appeals never made it past the bedroom ceiling. Right?

Wrong.

I am submitting to the awful doctrine that unless my prayer experience “feels” right to me, then God is impotent to answer them. In a twisted way, that is putting emotional subjectivism on the throne and kicking a Sovereign King off of it.

On top of this, Matthew 6:8 raises a different objection in the conscientious Christian:

God already knows what we will ask, so why do we need to ask it?

This verse has helped reveal to me the nature of biblical prayer like no other. God doesn’t desire we put prayer time in a nice little “To do” box we smugly check off each day after 10 mins of mechanical meditation. The whole purpose of prayer to a “Father” is to establish and nurture a relationship. Contrary to popular religious opinion, prayer isn’t about getting things from God, prayer is about getting to know God who is a loving Father.

That was funny. Right as I was typing that last sentence in the previous paragraph my three-year old, Josiah, walked in the living room and exclaimed in his cheery tone “Good morning!” I greeted him back and reminded him to go to the bathroom. After he was done with his business he went in the kitchen. I saw him open the refrigerator door. After staring into it for a few moments he returned to the living room with a request:

“I need juice, daddy.”

Poor little guy couldn’t reach it.

“I got it, baby.”

Now I know my child needs breakfast every morning, and his mom and I ensure that he gets it. But I didn’t put the computer down, get up, and go fix his juice and cereal for him because he had to ask for it. I gladly made him his breakfast because he is my son. And because he is a little boy with short arms, his asking also showed he is completely dependent on his dad for such things.

Right after I handed Josiah his breakfast, another request came out of his tiny three-year old lips:

“Can you fix my Transmurner?” (that’s how he pronounces “Transformer”)

Last night, before he went to sleep Josiah requested his new Transformer toy be his bedmate. Before we agreed, we disassembled the accompanying sword and sharper edges of the toy so he wouldn’t hurt himself. Of course that is semi traumatic for a three-year old, but after assuring him that is how Transformers go night night and I would fix it in the morning he was okay. Even though it was a trivial request compared to breakfast, it was a big deal to my son.

And it was my delight to fix his transformer for him. Not because he asked, but because he is my son. I also had promised it to him. And if I didn’t keep that promise I would be jeopardizing the trust within our father-son relationship.

I think the point is clear. In prayer, God does not want to be known as a genie in a bottle or a sugar daddy. In prayer, God wants us to display how utterly dependent we are on His gracious Fatherly hand. We are the beneficiary, He is the Benefactor. This prayer life all centers around the pure delight of relationship, not trumped-up feelings or requests for coats and boats. On top of all this, the Father has promised He would answer the prayers of His dear children, and He signed that promise in the righteous blood of His only precious Son.

In Christ alone we are accepted, adored, and made precious sons and daughters of God.

And this Son says to His brethren:

“Whatever you ask in my name I will do it, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (John 14:13)

Pray away. He is not a begrudging taskmaster, but a joyful loving Father who grants requests on the basis of relationship not rule-keeping.

Sons and daughters don’t have to struggle to be sons and daughters.

Don’t do.

Simply be.

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

71 thoughts on “God Wants To Fix Your Transmurner Before You Ask Him”

  1. Thanks. I too struggled with the prayer life. One thing that helped me was the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. It was surprising and refreshing since I was coming from the Wesleyan Church (a low church split from the Methodist; it is a little ironic too, since John Wesley was an Anglican.)

  2. So, in the spirit of your post, do you think that “because he is my son” is also the reason for why you DON’T do certain things for him? Obviously, I’m getting at the notion of unanswered prayer. For instance, the child that dies despite the desperate prayer of a parent that she lives. If the prayer is not answered in the way desired, is that also because of love?

    Just curious for your thoughts.

    1. Compelling question natakery!

      I want to be sensitive to such query and I probably will devote another post to it later. I’d say God doesn’t leave any prayer unanswered, He simply says “No” or “Wait.” There is mystery as to why He doesn’t answer in the affirmative, but all answers are wrapped up in the “Father’s glory” so that he would get the most praise in the end. God didn’t even spare His own Son’s life, and poured His own wrath on Him so that tragic situations like you described can be eternally redeemed in the end. Blessings and I will keep that question in mind for later purposes.

      1. Great answer Bryan. I hope you do write a post devoted to natakery’s question…I would look forward to reading it. I work in full-time ministry and we get asked that question more times than I can count.

      2. I believe you hit the nail on the head with this answer. Too often I get peers, Christian and non-Christian, who ask me about this conundrum they have within their faith about “unanswered prayers,” to which I try to explain to them that there is no such thing and that all prayers are answered just as a parent would answer his child: “yes”, “no”, and “not now.” I believe this has become the inspiration for my next post. It will be a pleasure reading your take on this subject in your later post.

        God bless.

  3. BAM! You nailed another one, Bryan! My favorite part is when you say, “God doesn’t desire we put prayer time in nice little “To do” box we smugly check off each day after 10 mins of mechanical meditation.”
    Excellent post!

  4. Great post! I still (after all these years) struggle with prayer and sometimes wonder if I’m doing it “right.” I find that when I really “let go” of whatever it is that keeps me from praying and just talk with Him I’m amazed sometimes at what I end up talking with Him about. It’s like you said–it becomes a real relationship with my heavenly Father who does, indeed, know what I need even before I ask (and even coming up to the end of my third year of unemployment–in April–with very limited financial resources and no income–not to mention I’m bored silly with this much time on my hands, yet I find a way to fill it all the time). This was a wonderful post that I needed to hear and I love your examples with you and your son. Really brought it home to me. Thanks!

    1. Your words are a blessing to me Sara! I thank God for His timely words to His children. Father, give Sara the job you have just for her in Jesus name, according to your will and for your glory!

  5. Thanks Bryan for speaking these words this morning! I resonate deeply. Just got back from a ‘prayer walk’, which I find is a great opportunity to chat with my Creator. Blessings on you today, I’d like to reblog this if that’s ok.

      1. Thank you! I’ve seen that movie a few times on VHS. It always stayed with me because I identify so much with the sister who hates society.

  6. This is so good – but it’s important to remember how much you love to hear your son say thank you and tell you what a great daddy you are, too. You like it when he sits and talks to you about the Transmummer and whatever else is on his tiny mind. God feels the same way. Sure He’s all over getting us juice, but he also likes to just listen to us talk about how the day went.

  7. I think Rich Mullins said it best, “Bear in mind, children, that they listen to you because you are children, not because you are right. This is how our Heavenly Father listens to us.”

    Great post. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  8. Very nice Bryan….much truth in this below; I think we can all identify with this, especially put too much credence upon our feelings:

    “I struggle with prayer.

    Conceptually and practically.

    Most of those struggles are probably because I put unwarranted credence on my feelings at any given prayer moment.”

    Also love your take on what we are doing when we make our feelings more important than our obedience :

    “I am submitting to the awful doctrine that unless my prayer experience “feels” right to me, then God is impotent to answer them. In a twisted way, that is putting emotional subjectivism on the throne and kicking a Sovereign King off of it.”

    Nice story about your son and the transmurmer 🙂

  9. Great post! I loved it. I agree with mostly everything. Can I clarify one of your points? Although prayer is definitely not about checking off a to-do list, I think it can be helpful to have prayer on a to-do list, at least for me. If I don’t then I will forget and keep forgetting. I like to think of my to-do list as planning to spend time with God like I would plan to spend time with a close friend or my boyfriend. I think that that’s what you were getting at- the heart issue. Our hearts should be in a place of surrender always desiring to draw nearer to God and sometimes having to plan time to do that 😛 Thanks for the awesome post! It gave me a lot to think on.

    1. Good points, Nothing wrong with having a list for a reminder to the forgetful mind (that’d be me)! It was more of a caution to the one who ONLY uses prayer as a checklist then goes on about their day virtually unaffected. Kinda like me planning only ten minutes a day with my wife, counting my husbandly duties satisfied, and then speeding off and forgetting about her for the remaining 23:50!

      Thanks for your kind words, peace and grace!

      1. Haha! I like your comparison! It’s ludicrous to spend so little time with your spouse! Definitely something to keep in mind if you’re checklist prone like I am. Our relationship with God should def be our #1 relationship and it should be even closer and stronger than the relationship with our spouse, family, friends, boyfriend, etc. Anyway ❤ your response. It made me laugh. Grace and peace to you as well!

  10. Great message and just what I needed to hear! I was finding my life really rushed today and but felt like I needed to get in prayer time too. (You know put in at least 10 minutes) That isn’t what it is about and I was off track. Thanks for the post

  11. I loved this post! God isn’t our ATM in the sky. He’s a Father. I talk to God constantly throughout the day, even if it’s just to comment on how pretty the weather is. If my kids just came around long enough to ask me for stuff, I’d feel used…not loved. I’d be equally appalled if they requested that I pay the electric bill each month.

    Mad Wisdom, my friend!

  12. My husband and I are preparing to lead a good Friday service at a local church. In my research on the seven last words I find that I am stuck on the last word of Christ…Father, into your hands I commit my spirit…that was the first part of a prayer every Jewish child was taught to prayer before closing their eyes to sleep…that our savior, in the moment of his worst agony, reached back to the tender words of prayer taught to him as a child, and said goodnight to the pain of the day…

    “Daddy, I am tired. My heart is broken, my body is broken, will you fix it for me in the morning? I give you my breath while I close my eyes in sleep…see you in the morning Daddy…..”

    Thank you for your post.

  13. Thank you for your post Bryan! I think the best advice I ever got from someone on prayer was when I was a new Christian. I was very hesitant to pray and my friend assured me that prayer was simply a conversation between God and me. She said that just like I would sit down and talk to a person to get to know them I should sit down and get to know God through prayer!

    Your post reminded me of those words that changed my prayer life drastically!

  14. “Sons and daughters don’t have to struggle to be sons and daughters. Don’t do.
    Simply be.”

    Love those words! Not sure WHY that can be so hard sometimes…

  15. From the lips of a child such great wisdom and revelation. My two year old great nephew Jordan is the same. Jordan is not afraid to ask for help with is Kool-Aid Jammers. He is so open to what I or his Aunt have to say while we are babysitting him. When we tell him to be gentle with the kitty he’ll say Nice Kitty and pet him very gently. Children are such a delight and by their innocent requests really reveal to us how to trust God.

  16. Love this:
    Contrary to popular religious opinion, prayer isn’t about getting things from God, prayer is about getting to know God who is a loving Father.
    and
    This prayer life all centers around the pure delight of relationship, not trumped-up feelings or requests for coats and boats.

    Would you consider letting me repost this on UTCOP (Under the Cover of Prayer)?
    Jan

  17. Hi
    Thank you for this.
    I used in my talks at church today. It arrived in my e-mail just as I was working on the Talk on Prayer and Connecting.
    People really enjoyed the story and found it helped them understand the connection between prayer and God acting.

    You are a blessing

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