Today is the National Day of Prayer

I shared with some preschoolers that today is a special holiday when anyone can talk to God. It is called the National Day of Prayer. A preschooler looked strangely at me and said, “Maybe grown-ups should know that every day is a day we can talk to God. We don’t need a holiday. We could use another Christmas, but we really don’t need a holiday to be told to pray.”

11174971_10153284945688921_2913986583461504262_n-1

As the leaders of our country all stand together and use prayer as a tool for betterment, it is interesting to look at the history of this day. According to Wikipedia, the National Day of Prayer shares common roots with the celebration of Thanksgiving; both were national proclamations establishing a day of prayer, but in the New England Colonies under British rule, traditional observances in late fall called for prayer and thanksgiving, while observances in the spring or summer called for prayer and fasting. The fall observance was established by President Abraham Lincoln as the official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863. The spring observance was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1952 as the National Day of Prayer.

For over 60 years, we have been using the first Thursday of the month of May to offer prayer as a whole nation. This year, the theme of Day of Prayer will be “Lord, Hear Our Cry”. Prayers from any person in any religion or belief are encouraged by the Senate to turn to God and pray.

I have no idea how many people actually follow through with the Senate’s request. One day, one request, and no consequence that we can overtly see if we don’t follow through may be hard to track.  If one day is so hard to get a majority of people to gather around, I can only imagine how hard it would be to join together each day.

However, as my preschool friend shared, we really don’t need a holiday to pray in America. We are fortunate to live in a free country that allows us to pray each day whenever we can. Often we hear that you need to use things or you will lose them. This may be one of the times we follow an axiom.

  • If your family celebrates Thanksgiving each year, do you also celebrate the National Day of Prayer?
  • What could you do to make a day of prayer something meaningful to you?
  • What could be different if people would pray more than one day a year? 
  • Will you consider being like a preschooler who just cannot understand why one day of prayer  is enough? Will you let God hear our cry?

th

I just have to share….

A preschooler told me, “Mommy says its good to share so I just have to share my Christmas list with you. Be ready, it is a lot to remember. ”

I want to share something...

I want to share something…

I had a mother come to my preschool office this week and say, “I just have to share something and maybe your blog could use it.” (Luckily it was not too long for me to remember!) She shared she is very early in a pregnancy and has fears of losing the baby like she has experienced in the past. She has been busy praying for a healthy baby or a quick miscarriage before she bonds too closely with the child or the stamina to see the good in whatever happens. In her heartfelt prayers, God has been silent. She has felt like there is no sign of what will happen. Her prayer to hear God was answered through her preschooler. About two hours after her prayer for a message, her daughter sat by her side and said, “Mommy, did you know that when you are sad, God is sad too?”

With tears in her eyes, this mother shared that the Holy Spirit spoke through her preschooler and comforted her in her time of need.  Preschoolers are powerful people. They have only been in this world for a short time yet have the ability to change lives in profound ways. Fetuses also have the ability to change lives. If they are in the world for a week or a month, a few months or are delivered full term, lives surrounding them may never be the same.

The tip of a pen is quite small but it can create anything we can imagine. The little tip of a pen is the same size as a fetus as it begins to grow, but small can do big things. It is as if the fetus is saying, “Love me as I grow, I have things to do. I may be small now, but I will always love you.”

After only five weeks, the fetus is the size of a sesame seed which seems still very small, but he has a brain and a spine, and his heart is beating. The sesame seed gives a lot of oil for people all over the world to eat even though it is one of the smallest seeds. Small can do big things. That fetus is still saying, “Love me as I grow, I have things to do. I may be small now, but I will always love you.”

Small things can love a lot. No matter what the size of a creation, it can give and receive love. No one knows how long our children will live. The only thing we can know is how long we can offer love. Emotions are up to us.

The God I know who creates new life knows the joy that life can bring. He also knows the sadness that can come when we are not as close as we want to be. Closeness brings joy and distance brings pain. Whenever you can, get as close to love as possible. If it involves sitting close on a couch with a preschooler as she shares words of comfort, smile and know you are loved.

  • When you are sad, do you typically suffer in silence or do you share with others in your world?
  • What would look different if you would accept the love that a small thing can offer you?
  • If you are a person who prayers, will you take time to ask God to show up for you, and wait in holy anticipation at how you will hear an answer? (Make sure there is room for a preschooler in your life in case that is how your ears will hear a message. They just may also have their own long list to share with you.)

God said, “You don’t have to worry about love. As long as I’m existing, you will be loved.” Anonymous

“Love me as I grow, I have things to do. I may be small now, but I will always love you.” Quote from every child who has ever been conceived

 

What were you doing at the end of the sidewalk?

I had the pleasure of speaking with Wally Armstrong on the phone this week. Wally is a former touring golf professional and uses golf to help people understand life. However, his preschool aged grandchildren may be teaching him more than a golf game could.

Wally shared the story of his two twin grandchildren, Brooke and Parker learning to ride a two-wheeled bike. They were crashing and falling. One child is a crier and the other a pouter. As the crier was on the ground, the pouter was down the sidewalk with his head hung down for a long time. As he stood back up, he got on his bike and pedaled with ease all the way back to his sister. When asked, What were you doing at the end of the sidewalk?Parker explained, “I was praying for Jesus to help me ride my bike, and now I can ride.” Then he asked his sister, “Do you want me to pray for you? Jesus can help you ride a bike too.”

My Bike on the sidewalk

My Bike on the sidewalk

Can life really be that easy? You talk to Jesus, and then He helps you? For Wally’s grandchild, it was that easy. As adults we often complicate things. We keep trying things on our own, and when we fail, we blame others or we give up. Some of us have a hard time asking for help. We think we need to do everything ourselves. We feel guilty asking friends for help and we certainly don’t want to bother any higher power with our little life. We suffer in silence, and we miss the joy of riding a bike down a sidewalk for the first time.

I love that this child used his faith and then also wanted to share it with his sister. If you have something that is wonderful, it is always best to share. You can do great things when you ask Jesus for help, and then you can pass it on by helping others. I can only imagine this cycle being repeated over and over again as more and more people gain power in asking for help. It is often in asking for help that we gain our real strength. It is then that we can ride down the sidewalk of life with a proud smile on our faces.

  • When was the last time you asked a friend for help with something?
  • What do you do when friends don’t show up to help you?
  • If you believe in Jesus, how can you encourage the little sisters in the world to trust in Jesus when they feel like giving up and crying?
  • What will you do when you get to the end of your sidewalk?
  • Imagine sitting next to your bike. What would you like to ask Jesus? (He just may be listening just like he was for Wally’s grandson!)

“I have played alone for too long. On the golf course and in life, I have not let anyone be a caddy for me.” Wally Armstrong, taken from his book The Mulligan.  Check out more of Wally’s books and thoughts. Also check his story out at a free presentation at a Lifetree Cafe near you the week of June 9th. 2013. Lifetree Cafe: Could a conversation with God change your life?

The Power of Preschoolers can change your life…..if we let it.