I wrote the following post this Summer. Why I never posted it, I’m not sure. Must have been the heat. It does things to me . . .
From July 2007:
Remember Vacation Bible School? Remember those hot summer days squirming in the pew sporting a Kool Aid mustache? Remember counting light fixtures while the preacher droned out Bible stories and took up money? (Yes, even then). Ah, those were the days. How much we learned! The Pledge of Allegiance, The Christian Pledge, the Pledge to the Bible, the Pledge to Bear Bryant . . . ok, maybe that was just an Alabama thing.
Even now, some 25 years later, I am still taking my children to Vacation Bible School. And while the music is louder, the games are cooler, and most kids are walking around with iPods, some things have remained solidly the same. The Bible is still “God’s Holy Word.” Jesus is still offering everlasting life. And prayer changes things. Which brings me to the real subject of this post, my daughter.
At eight*, she is my oldest. She accepted Christ at the early age of five, which was young I thought. But she was precocious and clearly understood fully what she was doing. Since then, she has epitomized child-like faith for my wife and me. Her commitment to Jesus is pure and profound. She is an inspiration.
Today, she discretely pulled me aside and asked that I pray specifically for her younger (five year old) sister. “Today,” she said, “is a very special day.” Of course I pressed for further clarification (I am Baptist, after all and find it much easier to pray for people when I have ALL the juicy details). She would not offer more, but just insisted that I pray for her sister. Then, as a parting note, offered this one small clue.
“Our theme verse today is Romans 10:9.” With that, she hurried to her class.
While you might not find the reference familiar, those of you who are believers will no doubt recognize the verse:
“That if you confess with your mouth,’Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (NIV)
It suddenly occurred to me that my daughter was praying for her sister’s salvation. She was also enlisting me to do the same. My eight year old daughter saw the spiritual potential in the message her sister would hear that day. She also remembered her own experiences as a five year old. Therefore, she invoked the most powerful tool any of us carry as a Christian, prayer.
I began praying for my children before they were born. But I was not prepared emotionally for the reality that they would one day grow up to pray for one another. I am confident God will answer my daughter’s prayers. I am confident that in her own time, my youngest daughter will no doubt come to depend on God’s saving grace as much as the rest of us. But I am humbled at the faithfulness of my child and her unconditional commitment to prayer for the salvation of her sister.
*McKenzie is now nine years old. She is still strong in her faith, and she still prays for her sister.
** Photo by Jadie Thomas, Jadie Thomas Photography