Prayer and Identity

Ben Kampmeier

Read: Psalm 131

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. (v. 1)

When I walk in the door of my house at the end of a workday, I’m usually greeted by a high-pitched “Daddy!” as my son runs down the hallway. Usually after this, he sits quietly on my lap while my wife and I unpack the events of our day together. My son is two. He doesn’t know many words, and he certainly can’t understand our conversation. But to him, it doesn’t matter. He is content to sit on my lap and be reunited with his parents at the end of the day.

The psalmist, King David, writes of a similar experience: “I have calmed and quieted my soul” (v. 2). For David, prayer is an opportunity to be reminded of his identity as a child of God. There is a time to speak, to ask questions, to understand the conversation—and there is a time to be quiet and rest in our identity as God’s own children. As we get older, we sometimes forget what it’s like to be little children.

What would happen if your prayer life took on a fresh childlike quality? Just imagine a young child content to be with its mother. So may your soul be within you when you stop to pray, greet the Lord, and simply be at rest in his presence. —Ben Kampmeier

Prayer: Father, help me to be quiet enough today to be reminded of my identity as your child. Amen.