Why does a chicken cross the road?
Does a tree make a sound when it falls in the woods if there’s no one there to hear it?
How do the keep off the grass signs get there?
What if your biggest prayers are too small?
That is the question that Mr. Standtmiller asks in his latest book, “Praying for Your Elephant: Boldly Approaching Jesus with Radical and Audacious Prayer”. He asserts that this is not a book about prayer, but rather a book that asks you to pray specifically for what you want.
Big prayers, small prayers, prayers of thanks, prayers to exalt, prayers for self, selfless prayers, self-sacrificing prayers, selflessness prayers, prayers without words, prayers with the wrong words, formatted prayers, rambling prayers, prayers ending with snores rather than amen, prayers that ask for the impossible, prayers not needed, prayers to impress, prayers to blame, prayers to forgive, prayers to…to…just talk to God. He’s a really good listener and provides what we need, when we need it and how we need it. Sometimes it may not seem like it’s for our best, but time proves there is a good and right purpose for it.
Personal experiences, good and bad, drive our need to pray. When grief struck me with the loss of parents, parent-in-laws, and husband, all within a few years, I didn’t stop talking to God. I just knew that I could pray and pray and that those prayers could not be answered, even by God, because , “please bring them back” was just not going to happen.
Hopeless pain has few words. I didn’t stop talking to God, but I had no words to ask for what could not be; I didn’t know what to say to Him. So, I would just utter, over and over, “God. God. God.”
Those prayers were a cry to find my way, to come out of the darkness of grief. Those prayers have been answered with the greatest joy that comes from having had these people as part of my life and the memories that remain Glory be to God.
In this book on audacious prayer of asking, we are reminded that “God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter; He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, and our aching groans. (Roma. 8:26-28 MSG)
“Prayer is more than just words. Prayer is a heart and soul groaning, not an exercise in vocabulary for the purpose of impressing others,” says the author, Mr. Stadtmiller. “It is the common language of God’s peoples…the Christian’s native tongue.”
This book changed me in the first reading and in the changing, my relationship with God grew stronger. It’s like a long walk on the beach or a challenging hike up a mountain with my best friend.