Growing up, my sisters and I made up a game called Cottie Too. It was a somewhat nonsensical game with two rules: It always began with the phrase “cottage cheese” and players promised to say the first thing that came to mind.
That’s it. It probably doesn’t sound like much of a game, but it was actually pretty fun. The first few comments were always the same, but after that it broke off in different directions. Often the game took us on a hilarious ride with sudden changes in direction as three separate trains of thought attempted to travel the same track.
It’s been a while since I thought about this childhood game. Then a few nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and had a hard time falling back asleep. There were so many thing on my mind. My husband and children, extended family, friends, loved ones, and strangers…all suffering with different things. Heartache, loss, hardships, illness, life changes, loneliness, depression, belief, unbelief, big problems and small problems. Too many and too much to pray for the way I wanted to.
So I began a “Cottie Too” prayer instead. I started with one person and prayed for whoever came to mind next. A face came to mind, accompanied by a need. It was fast. Intense. Effective. I realized I didn’t have to spell it all out. God knew what I was trying to say, even if my thoughts were too jumbled to get out just right. The Spirit reassured me, in Romans 8:36, that this is true: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
What a beautiful reminder from my loving God. He doesn’t need me to fully explain myself, He doesn’t need a blueprint of my thought process, and He’s not bound by the same communication limitations that restrict me. Instead, He invites me to come to Him as a child goes to their father, and lay my wants and needs at His feet.
I have a feeling I will be praying more like this in the future, and much more often. I am looking forward to more frequent visits to the throne of grace where I am promised “mercy” and “grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)