By Patti Johnson
I remember the afternoon over 20 years ago like it was just yesterday. Our extended family had gathered at our house for a family dinner. While most of us were in the kitchen catching up and preparing for the meal we would share, the youngest of our three children was in the living room on the couch. We noticed she had been quieter than her usual energy-filled 4-year-old self but had not determined any more than that.
Suddenly, the banter and chatter in the kitchen was broken with a voice from the living room. Our 4-year-old daughter shouted in her sweetest, but most determined confident voice,
“Someone out there please pray for me; I am not feeling well.”
Just like that, we all stopped, our attention taken over by that sweet voice and determined request. For us. Absolutely directed to us. Those of us gathered in the kitchen.
I remember I was the first one by her side. She was not injured or raging with a fever. No upset stomach. No signs of chickenpox or any other unexplained childhood rash.
She was simply just “not feeling well” and called out for prayer.
By then everyone else was gathered around in the living room, inquiring as to her condition.
We stopped what we were doing. To gather. To pray. To take seriously the request of our sweet 4-year-old.
She knew she was not feeling well and knew as we had taught her to pray for needs. The needs and requests of others. And to ask for prayer from others for our own needs. The simplicity of a child to cut through the need and go right to the solution. Prayer.
As the years have gone on, we often will reminisce about this afternoon. It was a “showstopper” in our family gathering. It taught us to always stay connected with the needs of one another. Over time as the kids have grown and moved from our home to their own, it is not uncommon to receive a text, even a family group text saying, “Please pray for me.” It could be a physical need of not feeling well, it could be a business decision sitting in front of one of us, it could be for travel safety, it could be a relational challenge, it could be anything that may not “be feeling well.” It could also be a joy to share like a new car, a new home, a new pet, a new discovery. But it always begins with, ‘Please pray.’
So very many stories in the Bible are about prayers requested, prayers heard, prayers answered. But it always begins with, “Please pray for me.”
A simple verse to remind us to pray for all things…
Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
There are many challenges to ministry. Many that others do not know. But we can always reach out and request, “Someone please pray for me.”
Be like our sweet 4-year-old daughter and reach out in confidence and cut through the problem to the solution. Prayer!