The other day, surprisingly, required praying with my baby, my fifteen-month-old grandson.
An extremely loving little boy, he is very sensitive to other people’s pain. He was playfully doing peek-a-boo with me using pieces of clothing and then a lap-desk. A little over exuberant, he unintentionally bopped me hard on the nose with the lap-desk.
As I yelped in pain, my friend ran for some ice for my throbbing nose. My grandson’s face crumpled in tears. I told him it would be okay, hugged him, and told him I was not mad at him or at the lap-desk. I told him the ice would make it better. He kept crying softly. Later he whimpered every time he looked at the ice and cried whenever I put the ice to my nose.
I told him that Jesus would make it better.
Also that I knew he had not tried to hurt me and neither had the lap-desk. He did not seem to believe me. Seeing nothing was working, I suggested we should pray to Jesus right then. I don’t know what his face looked like as I was praying, because my eyes were closed with my hands folded around him in my lap.
I thanked Jesus that I knew he was going to make my nose better.
Then I thanked him that my grandson hadn’t meant to hurt me and that the lap-desk hadn’t either. Next I thanked him for loving us so much and told him we loved him too. Amen.
When I opened my eyes, after praying with my baby, his pain was visibly gone.
He was able to engage in play again. For a minute or so he still took pained little breaths whenever I applied the ice. But he seemed to know that things were going to be okay now. Obviously, he could not have understood all of my words.
Nevertheless, Jesus gave him peace. Through my prayer.
I’m sure I never prayed in similar moments with my own babies or toddlers. I had no idea the prayers would have mattered to them. But watching my kids grow up and watching how God has worked in me and in others around me as we hear people praying changed me. I determined to pray out loud much more often than I used to. Whether I’m praying with my baby, praying with someone at book club after hearing a need, or praying with someone in the grocery store, God hears. And God works.
The really cool thing: IT ALSO BLESSES ME.
As I watch God work through my little prayers about tiny things and huge things, my faith grows. The faith of those around me grows, but mine might grow even more. Amazing. What a good God we have. He allows us to be vessels through which he works.
Do you have a child, a co-worker, or a family member who might benefit from an audible prayer from you?