Lately Anders has been back into a praying kick.
Quick background: the first time he prayed out loud was for a meal we were eating at FarFar & FarMor's with his cousins. We asked him if he'd like to pray, thinking he'd give us the usual answer of no. But instead, he did and proceeded to thank God for the meal, including the pickles--which made Beth and I chuckle, which made the others think we were terrible parents. His usual M.O. became to pray with squinted eyes, thanking God for every individual thing he could see at the table. One evening while the volunteer youth group leaders were at our house for a planning meeting, we opened in prayer. Each of us (I think there were 5 that night), prayed for quite a while. The whole time, Anders sat there praying himself--for each individual thing in the room he saw: his toys, the people there, etc. It kind of frustrated him, I think, when one person finished and another started. He thought he was done, but then he started again--thanking for the same things for the most part. He went for quite a while praying at meals, but then came to a point where he had enough and stopped.
I guess that wasn't so quick. But he's back in a praying mode. And it makes us thrilled. It's mostly the same prayer: Jesus, thank you for everything. Thank you for Mom and Dad. Amen.
But he desires to pray. And that is what's cool.
That last one is the "I'm frustrated that you're taking pictures of me" look.
I often feel like I'm striking out at prayer. I don't feel like I'm connecting the way I should. Sometimes it does just take practice and perseverance. Jesus told parables about the persistent woman before the judge and the neighbor knocking for bread. Sometimes you just keep going, even though it doesn't feel like much is happening. God is there and He can handle whatever we bring to Him--even our frustrations and anger.
Prayer is about our relationship with God. It's about remembering that He is always present with us--and relating to Him throughout our day accordingly. Unfortunately, that's not always easy to remember to practice. But be patient--and persevere. God's always there, waiting for us to draw close to Him--even when we forget about Him.