My 17 year old Grandblessing lost his work at school just the day before the pre-lims tests for the year 11 finals - as you imagine disaster struck.
Not only did the computer hold all of his work going back through the year but it also held vital papers he needed to complete studying that he had planned for that night.
Realising the computer was not at home, as he thought, a quick dash was called for as he and I zoomed over to school to search in vain with the help of one of the so-obliging cleaning staff.
Off home we set dejectedly to be confronted by a lecture from dad and a mum wringing her hands hoping it would help I presume.
The poor lad was, up to this stage, holding up so well. But then, overwhelmed by the circumstances of the events unfolding at home, just about lost it and went tearing off to his room, there to be flinging things around and hoping to 'remember' all the things he had documented in the folder inside his computer case.
That night was pretty hard on them all as they sat with him pretty well all night helping and encouraging him though it.
As it turned out, one of the teachers had locked the errant computer safely away in some obscure cupboard and he was able to locate it the next day - a tad late for the exam but nevertheless it was found.
My point through all of this was how I (of all people) reacted to this!
As soon as my grandson and I started off to the school I started to pray honestly and feverishly. The whole gist of my prayer centred on "Lord you know where this computer is - please find it for us" then as the night wore my prayer changed from 'Please find it for us "to "Why aren't you finding it for us"?
My prayer subtlety changed from a request in all humility to somewhat of a demand on God and a big question WHY?
You know we can often be demanding in our prayer life and in my opinion achieve nothing - God won't be dictated to and being able to go into the very presence of God does not give any of us a licence to be arrogant or rude in our approach to Him.
Yes! We can pray to Him with respect and honour remembering that here we are approaching the very God of Creation, the God who made us and created us all unique, who gave us life in the fist place.
My prayer to God on this occasion bordered on the DEMAND rather than the REQUEST made out of panic and somewhat anger rather than accepting His will in this situation.
When we pray, none of us have any real idea what God's plans are for us personally or for that matter any of us. His ways are far beyond ours in every respect.
So what have I learnt through this time? Well, not to be so demanding of God - accepting His will and trusting in faith that His will be done.
There is no doubt in my mind that someone who prays authoritatively is a person who knows that there is no need to be afraid to come boldly into the presence of God and ask with faith and expect what has been requested according to God's will.
That is so different to my prayers about the computer where I was demanding from God an answer. A person who demands something from God in this way in my opinion should expect nothing from God.
Often our answers from God are quite unexpected. But should that stop us from praying and keep on knocking at Heavens door to open wide and let us in? certainly not! That's the very time we should be praying.
When we pray we should be very aware that we pray according to His will and not some demand, stamping our feet and commanding that he do something right now!!
In prayer we can be bold and assert our FAITH, rather than assert our IRON WILL. If we assert our faith I really feel that God will move on our behalf, wanting us to seize HIS will for our lives rather that us demanding OUR will be done.
As a man, I often 'want' things done in my way when I want them done and not a moment before or after. I'm afraid God doesn't work like that - His way is FAR more superior.
I have learnt that to really feel the very presence of God in our prayers that we come to Him seeking His way, His kingdom FIRST, then everything else will be provided in His time in his will and His way.
Big thing to learn and in lots of ways I thank him for the "computer incident" which again showed up my futile prayers for what they were.
Just in conclusion let me reiterate that our approach to God MUST NEVER be rude or abusive, arrogant and self-filled.
Let's allow God to be the REAL authority, renewing our lives and our prayers in accordance with His will and plans, never being afraid to approach the very Creator of the universe but coming to Him with boldness and courage, full of faith and believing that his will for us is true and right.
As we come to God in prayer this week let's not hold off on our requests to Him - he really does want to hear them from us His children. But let's not presume we know better than him and try to take over His role, demanding and asserting our own authority and agenda.