We know God as our Healer, Friend, Savior, Prince of Peace, Heavenly Father, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Creator and many other things. But have we ever looked at God as a collector of prayers?
In Chapter 17 of The Circle Maker, Mark says, “In much the same way that God bottles our accumulated tears (Psalm 56:8), God collects our prayers. Each one is precious to Him. Each one is sealed by God. And you never know when He’s going to uncork an answer.”
I’ll admit that I have never viewed God as a prayer collector. I have looked at Him as the One who answers our prayers, but not really as collecting them.
Imagine for a moment that every time you lift up a prayer, God grabs it tightly and gently places it in the box marked for you. Every prayer you speak over someone or something, He hears and He does not forget. Each prayer is precious to Him because you have lifted it up. You are special to Him and He collects these prayers and will answer them when it’s time.
One important thing we tend to forget, though, is that when our prayers go unanswered, we feel as if God hasn’t heard us. Or that He doesn’t care about us. We feel that our prayer has been lifted up only to be discarded by God. Like it’s not worthy of being answered.
How much further from the truth can that be?
So what can we do to teach our kids that God does hear us and He does answer prayer?
One idea is to have a Family Prayer Box. Have each family member write down prayer requests (one prayer per slip of paper). Collect these prayers in your own family prayer box (make sure to put the date on the slip of paper). Every night when you sit around the dinner table or before bed, have each family member draw a prayer request from the box, drawing until all of the requests have been taken out. Then pray individually for each request. After you pray, place the request back into your family prayer box. As prayers are answered, you can take them out and place them in the “Answered Prayers” box. This will allow your family to visually see that God does hear us and that He does answer prayers.
This activity will help your family see God as The Prayer Collector. What a great visual to see that the prayers we lift up are collected by God and answered in His time. Not our time, but only His time. And what a great way for you also to give thanks and praise to God as you transfer those collected prayers over to the answered prayers.
1. What do you think about this view of God as The Prayer Collector?
2. What prayer do you feel has been lost by God because it has gone unanswered?
3. Write out a prayer to the Lord, viewing Him as The Prayer Collector. This could be a prayer of forgiveness, a prayer of thanksgiving, or a prayer of petition.