I was at the Bible Study group I’m at tonight and we’d had a good time of fun fellowship and discussion after which we had our closing gathering of prayer requests and prayer. I thought of the change that we had just gone through though from the fellowship to the time of prayer and had a question come to my mind.
“Why don’t we laugh during prayer?’
Now some of you might think I’m disrespecting prayer. I’m not. I’m thinking of what I wrote in my blog article called “Go Play.” If we are to live a life of enjoyment in the presence of God, then being in the presence of God would include prayer. Since that is so, why don’t we laugh during prayer?
There is a story of a Puritan who heard one Puritan praying and saying in the prayer, “Hey Lord. Let me tell you a joke.” I believe this must have been a serious man of prayer for he truly believed God was hearing him and wanted to know about every part of his life. If you enjoy something, will you not thank God for it? If you can share a song of praise to God, why not a joke? He knows the punchline? Pshaw! We can enjoy jokes we know the punchlines too as well.
God is the God who gave us the gift of laughter and surely he laughs more than any of us. Who takes more delight in the creation around us? Is it us or is it God? We could even ask who takes more delight in a Christian couple getting married in purity? Them or God? Who takes more delight in the birth of a child? The parents or God? The answer is obvious, but at the same time, unbelievable in some ways.
If this is the way that it is though, then surely we should laugh more. It seems when we approach the disciplines in our walk of faith, we seem to enter a high and serious mode. Yes. We should have reverence, but I don’t believe reverence equals boredom. I believe we should boldly approach the throne, but I also think we should have no problem playing at the foot of the throne. Parents often delight in watching their children enjoy themselves in appropriate ways. Why not God?
This could be something that makes prayer so hard also. We can treat it as a drudgery that we are not to enjoy. I disagree. We should enjoy it immensely. We should laugh freely as we can with our closest friends. We can take great joy in that we are coming to the one who loves us the most and is listening to every single word we say.
Joy is the serious business of Heaven and laughter does a heart good like medicine. If we believe prayer is to change us, we should approach it as we want to be changed. We should come to God and laugh with delight at who he is. God is most definitely not boring. We could even say God is funny in a holy way. It would not be because we mock him, but because we delight in him so much.
Tonight, or the next time you pray, try something. Laugh. Tell God a joke. Sing a funny song. If you want to, just look at yourself and think of how much he loves you and laugh. That’s gotta bring a smile to you.
Maybe even to him as well.