We all have a deep need to be seen. Let’s just admit it. It’s a God-given need in every single one of us.
“Jesus often used the lives of children to teach us deep truths about how we should live.”
Jesus often used the lives of children to teach us deep truths about how we should live. Children are very honest about how they feel until they get old enough to start being hypocrites like the rest of us. They don’t know how to hide their neediness, their pain, their insecurities, their joy, their need to be number one, and the devastation they feel when they aren’t number one.
I was playing with my grandson the other day and a sweet little neighbor was playing with us. I facetimed my husband so he could share in the fun. As I was helping my nearly two-year-old grandson “talk” to his Tataw and tell him all about his new riding toy, the other little boy started saying, “Let him see what I can do!” I had to introduce Tataw to the little neighbor. He wasn’t ok until Tataw told him how great his scooter riding was. That little boy needed to be seen. He didn’t even think about hiding his need.
The rest of the time we were together, when I gave a compliment to my grandson, I had to say something to the other little one or he would pipe up and tell me something great about himself. I can’t help but smile as I type this. It describes all of us.
“They may not be able to put it into words, but it’s obvious…they need to know they are seen. They need to know they are heard. They need to know they are cared for.”
Children aren’t sophisticated enough to hide this need like adults are. All day long they need someone with them to clap for their accomplishments, pick them up when they fall, love on them, feed them and let them know they are important. They may not be able to put it into words, but it’s obvious…they need to know they are seen. They need to know they are heard. They need to know they are cared for.
“Oh, that we would pay attention to what God said while He was clothed in flesh and walked this earth. Every single word is saturated with life.”
As Jesus disciples fought over who would be greatest in the Kingdom, Jesus called a little child over. The disciples had no use for children but Jesus did. Oh, that we would pay attention to what God said while He was clothed in flesh and walked this earth. Every single word is saturated with life.
Out of His own mouth, these words came,
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”
Did you catch that? The disciples had a God-given need to be great. They fought, strutted around and argued. The amazing thing about this exchange (to me) is that Jesus didn’t say their need to be great was wrong, He told them how to be great!
Since this need is a fact, how do we not let it ruin our lives and make us miserable?
The key is in chapter six of Matthew.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
“Our craving to be full, if not met the right way, leaves us fake and full of empty reward.”
All of us need to look hard at that scripture. We will even take something as beautiful as prayer and use it to meet our need to be seen! Jesus even lets us know we get what we crave…immediate gratification. Prayer to be seen=reward in full. The prayer was seen by others, not heard. That tells me it didn’t affect anyone at all, it only exalted the one praying. It was babbling that impressed everyone but the only One that mattered. Our craving to be full, if not met the right way, leaves us fake and full of empty reward.
“Jesus would not have taken the time to tell us all of this if it wasn’t one of the most important truths on the planet.”
Listen to Jesus’ words as He addresses our need to be seen. He doesn’t shame us or tell us how bad we are. He meets our need.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
“He will use what we need to drive us into His Presence so we come out full of His life, full of His love, and full of what we crave… to know we are seen.”
Just like that little boy who needed to be seen and noticed so badly, I need the same thing and so do you. Jesus would not have taken the time to tell us all of this if it wasn’t one of the most important truths on the planet. None of us will make it down here without our time being seen by our Father and then rewarded by Him. He uses our needs to draw us to Himself. He is not turned off or repulsed by us (like people will be). He will use what we need to drive us into His Presence so we come out full of His life, full of His love, and full of what we crave… to know we are seen.
When I have someone’s full attention, I know I am important in their life. When we go in a room and shut the door to intentionally seek God, we have His full attention.
“We have the full attention of the Creator of heaven and earth.”
Read that again! We have the full attention of the Creator of heaven and earth. If we don’t do what He says, we honestly deserve to stay broken and needy.
I love that God doesn’t just say, we will be seen by Him. He goes so much further. He says He WILL reward us. Just like the hypocrite praying to be seen for a reward, God knows it’s a need in us.
And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
“He wants us to live for an audience of One so our joy can be in pleasing Him and then seeing His unseen hands clap for us as a mother claps for her little one with each new accomplishment.”
Jesus likes to reward us. He is a good Father. He wants us to live for an audience of One so our joy can be in pleasing Him and then seeing His unseen hands clap for us as a mother claps for her little one with each new accomplishment. That little child needs reward to thrive, we also need the rewards our Father longs to give us to thrive.
The Lord’s Prayer is what comes next in Matthew, chapter six. It is both profound and simple, like God.
Jesus says, “your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Notice He doesn’t say, your Father hears what you WANT. It says, your Father knows what you NEED. Then He teaches us what we need through His prayer.
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
- God is God, He’s awesome in every way.
- His will is best.
- I need to eat.
- I need a pure heart (forgiven and forgiving others).
- I don’t need any help to be bad.
- I need to be delivered from evil.
“The beautiful thing about prayer is our time in His Presence completely changes us.”
The beautiful thing about prayer is our time in His Presence completely changes us. I’m so grateful He saw me as I started to pray. He rewarded my faith, not my words. My prayers were all about me and my so-called needs. Only in His Presence did I start to become simple. Now my prayers are all about Him and His will being done (that takes most of my time in prayer), my daily needs, longing for a pure heart, and to not sin against the One I love so much. Hmmmm…kind of sounds like The Lord’s Prayer. How did He do that? Prayer takes us to what becomes our favorite place. In that place, our desires start to become His desires. Therein, lies our reward. When our desires and His are the same, we discover the secret to getting everything we need.