Introducing Lori Hatcher’s New Devotional
“The lions roar for their prey, and seek their food from God.”
My granddaughters are fascinated with all things nature, so one morning we read a National Geographic book about wildcats.
“And then the cheetah sneaks up on his prey and pounces,” I read.
“But, Gigi,” three-year-old Caroline said, “how do cheetahs pray? Like this? ‘Dear Jesus, please help me catch that antelope.’”
As we burst into giggles at the mental picture she described, I wondered how in the world I could explain to a preschooler that prey and pray are homonyms—words that sound the same but have different meanings.
I decided to ride the wave of laughter and save the grammar lesson for another day.
“Maybe they pray, ‘Dear God, please send me two rabbits, a coyote, and a beaver. And two mice for dessert,’” I said. They laughed again, picturing a cheetah on its knees praying for its dinner.
When their laughter subsided, I introduced a new thought, “You know, animals don’t have to pray for their food. The Bible says, ‘The lions roar for their prey, and seek their food from God’ (Psalm 104:21). God feeds them. He feeds the birds too. And best of all, He feeds us.”
Moments like these give me a chance to share truths about God with my grandchildren. They also remind me of what I occasionally forget. Matthew 6:8 says, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t pray about my needs. It means that once I have prayed, I can leave my requests in God’s hands, confident He will provide. I don’t have to beg, petition, build a case, or defend my request. God calls me simply to ask, like a child coming to a benevolent parent when she’s hungry. Or a cheetah asking for an antelope.
Sometimes I forget God is eager to meet my needs. Matthew 7:9–11 poses a question that spotlights how ludicrous it is to ask God to provide and then doubt He will: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” How silly of me to doubt!
I pray and fret, and pray and worry, and pray and cajole. What an inaccurate picture I paint for the watching world: a daughter with a legitimate need approaching her loving Father as if He were a deadbeat dad.
As the girls and I continued to read, we turned to a two-page spread of the cheetah standing proudly over the prone body of a large animal.
“Look, Caroline,” I said, “the cheetah caught a great big antelope for dinner.”
“Wow, Gigi,” she replied, “God musta known he was reeeeeeally hungry.”
Since God has promised to meet my needs, I can pray from a place of rest, secure in His provision.
Father, forgive me for the times I doubt you. For the times I fail to trust your character. You don’t deserve my skepticism. You’ve met my needs all the days of my life, through sickness, job loss, and financial challenge. Teach me to ask for what I need with confidence, knowing your generous and gracious heart will provide everything, in your timing, according to your riches, and for your glory. In the strong name of Jesus I ask, amen.
Live It Out
Think about your basic needs: food, clothing, medicine, and somewhere to live. Have you ever felt anxious or fearful, wondering if God will meet your needs? Have you prayed about it? When you pray, do you pray with bold confidence or trembling uncertainty? Resolve today to approach God as a beloved child, not a hesitant stranger. Ask Him to meet your needs, then trust that He will.
Lori Hatcher is a pastor’s wife who lives delightfully close to her four grandchildren in Lexington, South Carolina. She’s the author of several devotional books including Refresh Your Prayers, Uncommon Devotions to Restore Power and Praise. She’s also a blogger, writing instructor, and inspirational speaker. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Refresh . Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter (@LoriHatcher2), or Pinterest (Hungry for God).
Taken from Refresh Your Prayers: Uncommon Devotions to Restore Power and Praise by Lori Hatcher© 2022. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread Publishing®, Box 3566, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. All rights reserved. Further distribution is prohibited without written permission from Our Daily Bread Publishing® at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOOR PRIZE ALERT!
Lori is giving away a copy of Refresh Your Prayers to one of our Master Class participants! You have to be present to win. Click here for registration information.
5 thoughts on “Pray Like a Cheetah by Guest Blogger, Lori Hatcher”
Thanks so much, W2I friends, for sharing the lesson I learned from my grands and Refresh Your Prayers. May we all learn to pray like a cheetah!
I love this, Lori! What great insights for kids to apply to their lives.
Love this! I need to order a copy of REFRESH YOUR PRAYERS. Thanks, Lori!
What a great story and lesson about prayer, Lori! Now when I pray, I will remember that cheetah!!