A Simple Prayer
I volunteered at Vacation Bible School a couple of years ago and had a surprising situation come up. After the teaching the lesson we were to discuss problems in life with our age group. For me, they were 2nd and 3rd graders. Before I began the discussion I thought to myself, “Are you kidding? What kind of problems can 7 and 8 yr. olds have?” Surprisingly, two out of five children said their mommy and daddy were getting a divorce. I was stunned. First of all, that two of them answered with the same situation at home and secondly because they were willing to trust me with that information.
I had a split second to respond so I said, “I am so sorry; I’ll pray for you.” I felt so inadequate and that my answer was such a platitude. However, the truth is, I did and will pray for them. Even though it seemed insufficient, it was exactly what God wanted them to hear. I don’t know the tensions in their home life, the hurts their family is experiencing, or their fears but God does. My purpose in that moment was to offer them hope. I prayed that God would show them His love, that He cares about what’s happening to them, and that He’ll help them through it all.
It’s the same for you whether you are the one who needs prayer or the one who is offering prayer. Sometimes people share their burdens and you have a split second to respond and the moment is gone. What will you say? Here’s the clincher: if you tell someone you’ll pray for them you had better follow through. God not only cares about those hurting but about your integrity. Offering prayer is a serious thing to God and He holds you accountable. A simple prayer can move a mountain, soften a heart, or bring true peace to a situation. Never forget that.
As a retired elementary teacher I had forgotten what kids go through at home. VBS was a great way to remind me to pray for these kids and to reassure them, as our leaders did all week, of the love and care of their heavenly Father. Speak a word of hope to someone this week, will you? Your neighbors, your friends, or your extended family; God wants to use you to as His voice to a hurting world.