Our Father the ATM?

One morning as I knelt down to pray, my mind was occupied with all my shortcomings.  The cup was definitely half empty; I felt so needy, so deficient in the virtues a Christian wife and mother should possess.

“Dear Heavenly Father,” I began, “please grant me more patience and more wisdom in dealing with situations that come up.  Help me to understand Your will, Lord, and grant me the grace to do what I know is right.  Bless me with a ‘meek and quiet spirit’ as I relate to my family.  Help me to be more cheerful and encouraging.”

And the Holy Spirit said, “Gimme, gimme, gimme.”

That shocked me out of my ‘poor and needy’ mood.  I realized that, yes, that’s exactly what I was  saying.  I was calling God my Father, but instead of talking to Him sensibly, as a child would talk to a parent, I was treating Him like a spiritual-virtues ATM.

How would I feel if my child would come to me and say, “Mom, give me my dinner… and buy me some new clothes… and do my laundry… and clean up my room, and…”

These are all very legitimate needs, but wouldn’t I long for some more meaningful conversations with them?  Don’t I enjoy hearing about their day and listening to their ideas, hopes, goals?   Wouldn’t I also appreciate hearing a “Thanks, Mom, for everything you do” now and then?

Is my Heavenly Father any different?

Since then I’ve tried to keep in mind as I pray that He is my Father, not my ATM.


5 thoughts on “Our Father the ATM?

  1. Boy do I love this! I was just talking with God this morning at Mass and telling Him that after all these years I just don’t seem to know how to pray. I do the things that you have recounted and now I will take a different stance, to tell Him how my day is going, how I feel about my family and friends and how very much I love all the things He has done for me over the years.

    Thank you!
    With your permission, I would like to Re-blog this on my site.


  2. Reblogged this on Sandys Hopeful Room and commented:
    Christine’s post, Our Father the ATM? is a wonderful reflection on prayer. I actually talked with God this morning at Mass telling Him that I found that after all these years, I just don’t kno how to pray right now. I have been busy asking for things for others, not so much myself, but how often have I told Him how much I love Him and all the things He has done for me.

    t think you will find this post very enriching.


  3. Great thoughts Christine – we truly do need God to give us and help us with those things you were praying for (and as you say, they are legitimate needs). But, I know I have to be careful to not just start rattling them off without thanks for what He has done, and as you say, have a conversation with God.


  4. A person can get in a rush because they have to hurry on to some other pressing duties; we forget to converse and above all we forget to LISTEN. 🙂


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