Why Krissy has to ask

October 22, 2006 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

One of the hardest things about prayer is the feeling that it can’t possibly make any difference whether or not I pray. God knows what I need before I ask him, so why should I verbalize my needs in his presence?

Besides, most of the time, I don’t get what I ask for anyway. It is easier not to pray than to deal with the contradictions of unanswered petitions.

Last month, my mom gave me an article about an autistic child named Krissy, who had to deal with precisely this question of why it is necessary to ask. Below is an excerpt:

Teaching Krissy to ask

Because Krissy’s autism had resulted in severe language delays, she did not naturally ask questions. Even when she became able to make her needs known with one or two word demands (“Milk, please”) she was unable to ask, “Can I have milk please?” During the training phase we would constantly prompt her by saying, “Ask.”

One day, out of the blue, she asked/demanded “Disneyland.” “Ask!,” we responded. Then began a very laborious process as she worked at remembering and saying the right words, in the right order. Finally she stammered out, “Can I go to Disneyland please?”

Why did we make her go through all that effort when we knew there was no hope for a yes answer? Krissy’s autism hinders her from seeking out the most basic of relationships. When she demands something, she assumes she deserves a yes. Which implies no need for a relationship or dependence on us. As she learns to ask and not demand, she is beginning to understand that she needs us, she needs relationships.

*Source: September issue of the Timberdoodle e-newsletter.

Likewise, God requires me to form my needs into requests in order to help me understand that I, too, am dependent. What I need is not so much things, but Him. As I struggle through the process asking, I am forced to refocus myself from my needs to the one who actually satisfies those needs.

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Profile

profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

Email me: jamie.kiley@gmail.com

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