Alex and Austin, nine and six, have faith. In fact, their faith is stronger than mine oftentimes. How do I know?
They have these prayer journals, and in them they write… or draw a picture of sometimes… things they are asking God to do for them. To them, everything in that book is of utmost importance. For example, they prayed we would get a dog. They have also prayed for things like video games they want.
Those are cute, but recently they added a close family friend who has been battling some serious health issues. They love this person, and decided to add them to those things they are believing God to do for them. It’s so great to hear their small whispered prayers under our out loud prayers each night. Their faith inspires me.
Now, you might mock this, and say it is nothing more than a glorified Christmas wish list for Santa, but I beg to differ. Here’s why… Their faith makes sense. When a prayer in their book gets answered by God, they put a check mark on that page… showing them that God came through and did what they asked of Him. When they come up against something they want or need, they suggest to us that they put it in their prayer book because every request in there has a check mark by it. Every… last… one. In their mind, they simply ask God to help them out, believe Him and wait for it to happen.
Imagine that. And guess what… every time, God comes through for them. When something isn’t happening in their desired time frame, they don’t quit believing just because it hasn’t happened yet. Sure they wish it would. Sure discouragement tries to deter them from believing. But then they simply flip through the previous pages and see all the check marks, and they remember that God always comes through for them.
No wonder Jesus said the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children. Scripture says it is impossible to please God without faith, and kids have faith… so that makes God smile. He likes the way kids trust Him implicitly and don’t quit believing in Him just because it hasn’t happened yet.
My encouragement to us today is that we adults can have prayer books, too, in which we write down what we are asking God to do for us. And we can trust God to come through for us. Go back through your life, and look at all the check marks already placed beside so many things He has done for you. Then don’t give up believing for those pages that haven’t gotten their check makes… YET.
I started to try to answer all the arguments for why this could be considered ridiculous or reckless, but then I decided to just do like my boys… and have faith. You can call me names like naive… or misguided… or pie-in-the-sky… but I prefer childlike. And you can be sure that when I check off some of the requests in my own prayer book, I’ll let you know.
For the record, this week we found out that the friend who had been given a very serious diagnosis had that diagnosis changed to a much less severe one. It just so happens that an acquaintance of theirs is a medical professional who was able to get them into the right specialist in another city almost immediately. Then another friend happens to be the specialist in our area for another part of the process, and for the first time in probably over a month, our friend had a terrific, full night’s sleep the night before last.
Coincidence? Think again. Two young boys dared to believe that the God who can give our family a dog, or the video game they wanted, can just as easily heal our friend. I’m with them.
Why don’t you take a chance today and start your own prayer book?