Every night when we tuck Maddie in, we take turns praying. For the past several years, on Maddie’s night to pray, she talks to God about Uncle Tim’s back. Every.single.time. One particular night, she asked me, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayer? How come Uncle Tim’s back is still hurting?”
“I don’t know, Maddie. I just know God is not like a magician. He doesn’t simply wave a magic wand and make everything the way we want it. Sometimes, He wants us to learn to trust Him in the midst of our unanswered prayers.”
Through the years of modeling prayer, we’ve prayed about school, friendships, sickness, bad attitudes and everything else in between. This little girl is grasping the importance of talking to Jesus about everything. A few weeks ago, she heard that her dear friend’s mother was experiencing some health issues. She immediately created a card, mailed it and began praying for her. Everyday, she’d ask, “Do you think she got my card yet, Mom?”
One day, I received a text from this sweet friend relaying thanks to my daughter for the card and the request she had placed in the prayer basket at church. My friend just happened to be on the 24 hour prayer chain that particular day and cried as she read Maddie’s heartfelt request for God to heal. It moved me too knowing that my daughter is realizing the importance of crying out to Jesus for every need.
I am often proud of my children for their school and sports accomplishments. But this particular day, Maddie’s developing prayer habit for those in need surpassed any champion medal she could’ve received. Her commitment to bring someone suffering before the God of the universe caused me to ponder my own passion to pray. What a beautiful reminder that God desires that our first impulse be to bring our concerns before Him, large or small.
In fact, a few days later, Maddie rattled off her own prayer request before boarding the school bus. “Hey, can you pray that I’m nice to Clay today and that I do well on my test?” How grateful I am that God hears our sincere petitions for kindness to that person who is difficult to love. Maddie’s example reminds me to bring all my concerns to my Savior who hears me whenever I call.