Ryan had a really bad day at preschool today. I don’t know the full extent of what went on, but the end result was that Ryan scratched a little girl three times and drew blood. He really has never done anything like this that I know of. He sometimes gets too rough when he plays. Sometimes if he thinks a kid is about to take something that he wants to play with, he will get too aggressive in protecting the thing. We have occassionally had a hit when we had to take away a toy as discipline. The day just continued to spiral down when he got home. It was naptime and he refused to cooperate. He lost toy privileges. He lost his special blankie. He lost TV/video game privileges. It seemed that the disobedience would not end. But then… 

… there was light! Alex had awoken from nap. Ryan still had to stay in bed (since he hadn’t done that, yet). I gave him a brief lecture then told him that it would be a really good idea if he would pray to God to help make him obedient. While I meant it, I didn’t think that he would do it. But, he did! Later, I returned upstairs because I heard him talking. At the top of the stairs I realized that he was praying. I peeked in his room and saw him kneeling on his bed with his hands folded. His back was to me, so he didn’t see me. I heard him thank God for his lunchbox and his toys. Right about then, I think that he realized that I had come up. He paused for a minute, then closed out, “In Jesus name. Amen.”

I couldn’t suppress a big grin. It was SO sweet to see that moment. I had encouraged it, but that had been at least thirty minutes earlier! And I didn’t really think that he would do it (though we have prayed for his obedience on other occassions). I asked him if he had asked God to help him obey and follow the rules. He said that he did. I’m fairly sure that he did, too. He says some truly wonderful prayers. Anyway, both his behavior and his attitude were much better for the remainder of the night. Now that I have this story written out, I need to go back to it anytime that we are having a bad day and remember to pray. We should pray for our children daily — even moment by moment — but in the midst of a day full of disobedience, praying can be the farthest thing from our minds. The only thing that I could think was how I wanted to throttle the child! God is gracious through even these minor storms. He is a close, personal God who wants to work in our lives and bless us with His goodness. If only we would continually turn to Him!


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