It's interesting and confusing when you teach others, but hit a roadblock along the way.
Tonight, I was encouraging a new 9-year old Christian the importance of prayer. I dug up one of those old worksheets that has several scriptures about prayer and then has Yes or No written out to the side for the student.
Of course, we studied Matthew 6, one of Jesus' prominent teachings on prayer. I was doing fine until I came to this passage:
"7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
Here's the struggle:
On the one hand, I have heard (and probably taught) that you should be able to tell God ANYTHING! That the conversation should be open and honest, and that you should be able to tell God everything about your life, even the smallest of details (like David in the Psalms!)
And then, Jesus says, "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
This makes it sound like I should NOT share the smallest details of my life. It makes it sound like God already knows, and therefore does not need me telling Him about my life.
This is both comforting and frustrating. Comforting because God already sees what is going on in my life, and He knows what I need. I don't have to tell Him, or make requests all the time because He knows. He is a good Father who knows me inside and out, and wants to take care of my needs.
But, it's frustrating because, as a human, I badly WANT to have someone with whom I can share the details of my life!
I need to study this passage more. Any insights?