Linking up an older post tonight about how we build our kids’ faith daily. Check out other great ideas here.
Do you ever pray for little things? Little meaning things you don’t need– you just want. And you want to ask God because he knows every hair on your head, every day in your life. Good weather for a picnic, a new dress for a special occasion, a new kind of pot for the kitchen. I pray little prayers, but since I don’t need them, I forget I prayed them. Until one day the thing I prayed about shows up. And sometimes the thing does that, just shows up in a it-has-to-God way (rather than me acquiring it through ignoring budget guidelines).
Those little prayers that get answered in a it-has-to-God way are powerful faith builders. We need to teach our kids to pray little prayers. We must share our little prayers with our kids, to teach them that God cares about more than health, difficult circumstances, and poor people in far away countries. He cares about you. And me. And them. And our unessential desires. Not that we expect God to give us everything we want, but that we can tell him about things we want and trust him to provide or erase the desire from our hearts. Consider
Matthew 7: 9-11:
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
My Little Prayer
I grew up allergic to dogs and cats. When I hit the need-a-pet stage of childhood, we tried fish and a few lizards, but always they disappointed. I would hold a plastic bracelet over the goldfish bowl, begging those golden fins to jump through it. I knew they could jump since the last one jumped out of the bowl and died. They never learned.
The lizard lost his appeal the day I captured him by his tail. Tucked in the place of in the brain where images will not erase is a video of a detached lizard tail, still wiggling and changing from green to brown a few times. I thought I had killed him.
My pet dreams were finally filled in a small cockatiel named Bing. He ate with me, showered with me, chewed on my pencil while I did homework, flew to me when I whistled. He was pet therapy for the difficult middle school years.
When I got married, my husband surprised me with cockatiel. Duncan was fun and could whistle the Baby Elephant Dance and the Andy Griffth song. I loved Duncan, but when the second girl came, caring for him was a bit of a burden. We had to give him away when we moved across the country from Iowa to Montana and into family housing at a the univerisity so my husband could get his masters.
My kids grew. We moved from Montana to Michigan. My girls reached the I-need-a-pet stage. I still adored parrots and avoided the pet stores so as not to be too tempted. It had been seven years since we gave up Duncan. I had not met a single parrot owner in Montana or Michigan. But I had prayed a few times, knowing that a real parrot was not in the budget, that if God wanted to have a bird, someone would just give us one. Sometimes I browsed the Internet looking at parrot rescue groups but none were nearby.
In August we got new neighbors and, well, I will let you read my daughter’s version, in her letter to a her pen pal,
You know how we got the guinea pigs but not how we got Buster the bird. Well the way we met him was while cleaning the guinea pig cage outside. We heard, “Come here,” from the window and we thought it was our neighbor so we walked to the window. It turned out that the bird had said it and not long after that- about Christmas time- the neighbors offered him to us. My mom said we could have him because she grew up with birds and she loved them. She said she had been praying for a free bird ever since we had to get rid of our bird because we were moving. And here it was- God answered our prayers- the perfect gift! Buster’s hatch day is March 15. He turned 6. Not too long ago, when I wrote about it in my journal at school, the person next to me read it and made a birthday card! I didn’t really know her that well, but it made me feel good to know that other people were thinking of my bird and I took it happily.
My little prayer, that God answered, is part of the faith building of my daughter. And she is sharing the testimony of how God cares with her friends. A triple blessing.
Now, meet my little prayer, Buster: