As Christians, we scold ourselves a lot, not the least of which is about prayer.
Have you heard this one?
“God isn’t Santa Claus, you know, and He gets tired of our putting a wish list in front of Him all the time.”
While it’s true that God isn’t Santa Claus, the implication that He emits an exasperated sigh whenever we approach Him with our requests, belies the encouragement we are given to do so in Philippians 4:6:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
The Santa Claus association also reduces the trusting belief of the average believer to childish demands, implying that we are focused on Me Me Me all the time when we express our fears about finances, health, relationships, or life direction — key areas all humans struggle with.
If you’re tired of the accusations, but perhaps, at the same time, confused about the nature of prayer, please read the rest of the story at Confusing God with Santa? Yes. And No. at my Commonsense Christianity column, BeliefNet.