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A Mother's Lesson in Prayer

His name was Tim, and he was the bane of my existence. I can't remember now any particular thing he did to irk me; I simply recall from the fourth grade on he gave me a general sense of panic. Tim was unpredictable—content one moment and angry the next—and I half feared and half loathed him.

I thought slugging him in the nose might solve the problem. My mom suggested praying for him. That's just like a mom, I thought. But she insisted, and each night before bed, she prayed, and encouraged me to pray, for Tim. I don't remember either of us asking God that I would like him more; it seems Mom always prayed for his peace. Over time, something remarkable happened. Tim seemed calmer more often. As he grew more peaceful, I grew less fearful of him. God answered our prayers.

That's what God does: he answers prayers. His eagerness to meet our needs is an important element of his character. I'm convinced my mother knew that full well. She recognized my crisis as one through which God could whisper a word to me about his character. She clung to God's promise to offer peace to his children, and she was confident that God would hear me when I called out to him.

May we all be so wise.

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