Praying has always been really important to me. You see, I'm very needy when it comes to my Father. I ask Him for a lot of things...all the time...every day... "Sweet Lord, please let me make this green light." "Father, protect me in this car with this terrible driver." "My Jesus, I need you."
I usually try to be just as grateful as I am needy. "This weather is amazing! Praise God!" "Ay, yo, Pops. Thank you for my slammin' friends, bawla." "THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR CLASS BEING CANCELLED. JC, YOU ARE THE BOOOOMB!"
And then every once in a while, I'm just down right dramatic. "WAAAAHHH! Jeeeeessssuuuusssss, why me?! WHY. ME?!!?" "Um. God? I'm not sure what Your deal is...but stop." "Take it back! Take it back! I don't need this right now. I do NOT need this right now. I'm so weak. I'm the weakest daughter you've ever had. There has been not a soul weaker than I. TAKE IT BACKKKK!"
A lot of times I pray to repent. "Uh...hey, Dad...my sweet Dad...my sweet, glorious Dad...my sweet, glorious, and all-powerful Dad....Remember when I told you to stop....I didn't mean it like that. I....uh...I got nothin'... I'M SORRY! DON'T HATE ME!!" "Omgsh I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Lord. I'm so, so sorry. Forgive me. Please! I'm begging you." "Look...if you don't have mercy on me right here, right now....I'll keel right over. I'll just die right here..."
When I was a just a tot, I was the greatest little prayer. I prayed for everything. And when I say everything, I literally mean EVERY. THING. Every person, everything that required oxygen, everything that didn't require oxygen. Your stapler? Yeah, I prayed for it. I prayed for the plants, and the animals, and the clouds. I prayed like a mother for the bad guys. I was very concerned about them.
Here's an example. My mom would come to my bed side and tuck me in to bed every single night. Some nights I would make her rub my right foot....but that's another story for another day. Anyway, she'd tuck me in, rub the ol' foot, and say my prayers with me. Poor thing wound up sitting there for an eternity with the prayers that I came up with. I remember this one night specifically. This is how I remember the prayer going:
"Dear God, I want to pray for my mom, my dad, my brother, my kittens, my grandmaw, my grandpaw, my uncles, my cousins, my aunts, my friends at school, my house, my teachers. For the bad guys, for the police men, for all the plants, for all the animals, for the flowers, for my dolls and my stuffed animals, for my beanie babies, for everything that breathes, for everything that does not breathe. For all the people I am not praying for. For all the people I have ever met. For all the people I have not met. For all of the angels and for the devil. For every animal on this planet. For the sun and for the moon. And for everything else that I can't think of right now..."
And I'm going to be honest with you, I think I remember some nights being worse than that. I had this fear that if I didn't mention something or someone, that would be it for them. Consider them done. My poor mother had to just sit there and listen. She would be dead tired from working all day and then have to come listen to me save the entire world from destruction...all from my bed. She's a saint, I swear.
Even today, prayer is something I get really serious over. My prayers have evolved into something more casual and intimate with God but hardcore nonetheless.
I will laugh when my kids end up being the exact same way I was. I'll be tucking them in, kissing them, possibly rubbing their right foot, and praying with them until they pray their selves to sleep.
"Lord, I want to pray for my mom, my dad, my siblings, my dog, my shoes, my bed, the air, the phonebook, the TV. For everyone who has possibly existed, and for everyone who does exist, and for everyone who will exist, and for everyone who will never exist. For paper, for ants, for fingernails, for basket-balls, for Barbie & Ken, for cement, for rubber..."