We have turned a corner in our house. It is momentous. You see, for well on a year now, during morning prayer when we ask the kids who they want to pray for, one of two things has happened. Either they pray for everyone they have ever met or can possibly think of, thereby inciting frustration in their siblings because “They took mine!” OR they say, “We pray for everyone in the whole world, especially those who need God’s mercy.” As of late, the latter prayer has been the one all three of the oldest have prayed 4 out of 5 days.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful and I’m all for thinking globally BUT, well, it felt like a cop out. Their easy-peasy, let’s-get-this-over, ‘I’m not really paying attention!’ prayer. We reminded them that it was best to pray specifically and even better for people by name. We attempted some time of reflection before we began with helpful hints a la “WHO have we said we’d pray for? Do you remember? Hmmm??? What about Johnny?” only to be met with the same prayer with slight variations.
“We pray for all the people in the world, especially Johnny and all those who need God’s mercy.”
So I dropped it. Led by example some more and prayed they’d get it. Then, last week, on a particularly squirrely morning, this happened:
“We pray for Officer McCandless, Officer Armstrong and for all who have died, especially those in purgatory.” Max prayed softly.
Philip was bolder, louder. “For those who have lost babies and those who are having babies. Especially mom and our baby.”
“For Mama Syd and Papa Chris. For Grandma and Grandpa.” Tess paused and we waited for her ‘Let us pray to the Lord,’ but instead she continued thoughtfully, “And for our new Bishop. That God would be with him and make him good and keep him safe.”
Ellie went last and her prayer was exactly the same as it has been for months, but no less earnest. “For Mama Syd. For Papa Chris. For Nana Joyce. For Papa Bill. For Annie Crissy (Aunt Cristie). For Anna Mickey. For Mom. For Papa Loulie. For new Bishop. For Monday . . .” (This is where we usually stop her before she starts to repeat herself.)
On that morning, I listened in awe and said a happy prayer of thanksgiving myself. Sometimes it takes time, but prayers are answered.
Just a few days later, another prayer was answered. We had spent a good deal of time asking St. Jude – patron of impossible causes – to intercede so Jac would be able to go to the vocations conference in Detroit. We waited and hoped and then decided he’d have to stay home. Then, days before the start of the conference, Raul had frequent flyer miles. But it was too late! These things need to be booked in advance! He’d double check. . .
When he called back, he told Jac “You must be living right!” There were just enough miles and just one flight and he’d get in right before the start and it all lined up perfectly.
Thanks be to God. And thank you St. Jude!
Now the prayers go up that he would be safe, that he’d meet and secure lots of new clients. That I can survive 6 days (and the first Pack meeting and co-op!) by myself with the kiddos.
I know God is faithful. And that He hears us. So I trust and await more answered prayers.
*It would be great, though, if you would join us in those last petitions for Jac’s safety, business connections and my sanity. We would all appreciate it!