Show me, thank you, I know

Today's article on Christian Science A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

There was a sign by a church. It said, "God Answers Knee Mail." That's because some people kneel when they pray. Get it?

Sometimes they do this at bedtime. Some kids I know always say their prayers to the person who's tucking them in. There are good night prayers and good morning prayers and lots of other ones in-between.

Abbie goes to Sunday School, and sometimes I'm her teacher. The funny part is that she teaches me. She shows me what a whining, complaining prayer could sound like, and then we laugh. I can't write out a whiny sound, but here are some examples: "God, I'm tired of going up this hill. It's just too hard, and I want to go home and eat cookies. Stop making me go up this hill!" Abbie thought this was like saying that God needed to be told what to do. She thought it may seem rude.

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Instead, Abbie likes a "show me" prayer she learned: "Shepherd, show me how to go/ O'er the hillside steep" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Miscellaneous Writings," pg. 397). Abbie told me that helps her think about God when she has a problem. Abbie expects God to be able to help her and show her what to do, no matter what the problem is.

Thank-you prayers are fun, too. You begin them by giving gratitude to God. You can even say "thank you" before you know how God is going to help you. When you watch a sports game, sometimes a player will point to the sky after scoring a point or a run. That way, everyone watching knows God gets the credit and is being thanked.

Abbie was also really good when it came to saying an "I know" prayer.

"God, I know You are good, and I know You have only good for me," she started. There were so many "I knows" that Abbie said she couldn't write them all down. Maybe you can think of some, too. What do you know about God? What do you know about how God made you?

Clara and Ella are my friends, and they told me about a turtle they found crossing a road. Their dad stopped the car and put the turtle back in the woods, but Clara and Ella wondered if it would be all right.

We had a lot of blank envelopes, so we wrote letters to God. It made us happy, and each letter felt like a prayer on paper. We drew some great pictures of turtles safe in their home in the pond. The letters said that we knew that God was always there. He doesn't blink, fall asleep, or go on vacation. We can turn to Him when we feel worried about turtles or anything. He made everything - and everyone, everywhere, is in His care.

When Clara and Ella went home that day, they took their letters to remind them of how close God was.

There are lots of Bible stories about people who listened to God and did what He told them to do. Like when God told Noah to build a big boat right in the middle of a place where there wasn't any water. Noah did it. Because he was listening to God, the ark ended up saving him and his family from a gigantic flood that came soon afterward (see Gen., Chap. 7).

Prayers aren't just words that you say. They're a way to talk to God. They come from wanting to love and be close to Him. All around the world, people pray. Sometimes they sit cross-legged and are very quiet in their prayer. Sometimes they bow down to the ground at a certain time of day. There are all different kinds of ways of talking and listening to God. And any way you do that is the right way!

The Lord is your protector,

and he won't go to sleep

or let you stumble.

The protector of

Israel doesn't doze

or ever get drowsy.

The Lord will protect you

and keep you safe

from all dangers.

The Lord will protect

you now and always

wherever you go.

Psalm 121: 3,4,7,8

Contemporary English Version

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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