Lessons in Prayer

I received an interesting lesson in prayer from my daughter Heidi on Monday. We had visited a Christian bookstore to pick up a book for a friend of mine. While there, I let the kids each pick something small to buy and take home. Heidi picked a small “Holy Bible” eraser that she wanted, because it had an ‘H’ on it, just like her name. It was her prized possession for the next few hours.We stopped at Jon’s work/ his sister’s house on the way home to play for a while, and have lunch with Jon. In the time spent playing outside with cousins, Heidi dropped her Holy Bible eraser and lost it. I forget exactly how it came up, but Heidi said she really wanted to pray about her lost eraser and ask Jesus to please give it back to her (as if he took it or something). I didn’t know what to say….In my head, I was thinking, “Okay, does Jesus really care about a 25c eraser? Should I be teaching her to pray about such trivial things when people are dying all over the world? Isn’t this kind of a selfish request? What implications will this discussion and the folllowing events have on her relationship with God? What do I say?” I think I said something like, “Do you think God is concerned about your eraser?” To which she replied, “Yeah, God cares about me and I care about my eraser!”

So I finally decided to stop debating in my head, and just let her relationship with God be HERS. So we prayed. Then she began asking me questions like, “When will Jesus give it back to me (as if he took it)? Will it be at home when we get there?” Again, I wasn’t sure what to say… especially since I have been wondering a lot about prayer lately (with my mother’s death and other things I’ve experienced). I told her, “Well, I really don’t know, Heidi. When I pray, I don’t know if God will say yes or no to my request. I know he cares about me and loves me, so I ask him for what I want. But we don’t know what God will do. Let’s call Aunt Shana when we get home and see if she found your eraser… maybe that’s how God will say yes to your prayer.”

All the while I’m saying this, I’m thinking that little eraser is so tiny, they will NEVER find it in their yard. How is Heidi going to deal with this disappointment? Will she still think God cares about her? How are we going to help her through this experience?

Wouldn’t you know it, we got home, called Shana, and they DID find her Holy Bible eraser! I’m humbled. So we thanked God and we thanked Aunt Shana, and this is just one chapter in Heidi’s journey with God. I wonder what will happen next.

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