The Prayer Journal is a fictional account of one boy’s discovery of the power (and responsibility) of prayer. It is written to help children connect with Christ each day through prayer and reflection. To receive the rest of the story, sign up for the Formative Fiction Newsletter.
This Journal Belongs to
This was the worst week of my life.
It all started on Monday when I got my spelling test back from last week. I got an F. I’m not a smart kid, but I never got an F before.
My parents grounded me forever. They said it was the last straw. They said they were tired of my bad grades. I’m tired of them, too. I’m never going to do well in school.
The worst part of the week was basketball practice. We scrimmaged at the end and I had the chance to make the winning shot. I missed. I didn’t even hit the rim. Manny started calling me “Airball Aaron.” He’s a jerk.
Anyway, I’m writing this because Ms. Jane said I should try a prayer journal. Ms. Jane is my Sunday School teacher. She’s really nice. She always has good ideas for how to make the week better. So, I’m trying this prayer journal (whatever that means).
I don’t know if this even counts as a prayer, but it feels good to write about it.
I guess if I had to pray for anything, it would be that Manny breaks his leg.
This is weird.
So, I got to school today and sat down at my usual seat. I sit three rows behind Manny. He was late. He walked in about fifteen minutes after the bell rang and he was on crutches! He broke his ankle!
He’s out for the entire basketball season. Now I have to take his spot on the first team. Manny told me not to shoot anymore airballs. He deserves that broken ankle.
So, am I crazy? Is this prayer journal actually working? Are you reading this, God? Are you answering my prayers?
Let’s try this:
My sister drives me crazy. You know my sister, God. She talks A LOT. She never stops talking.
Here’s my prayer: Shut. Her. Up.
It worked again!
You are reading this God! (Right?)
My sister woke up this morning and she had a cough and a sore throat. It got worse throughout the day. At dinner she couldn’t speak at all. Her throat hurt too much!
That means this prayer journal really works!
This is awesome.
Ok, what do I pray for next?
How about . . . a snow day.
God, give me the day off school tomorrow!
Well, we didn’t get a snow day, but I did get the day off. So, I guess the prayer worked.
I woke up with my sister’s cough and sore throat. We both had to stay home from school because we had fevers and felt awful.
I don’t have a lot of energy to write in this.
So, here’s my prayer:
Help me feel better tomorrow.
Now, back to sleep.
I’m feeling a lot better.
Here’s what I want next:
I pray for an A on my spelling test.
I spent some extra time on my sick day studying my spelling words. I even got my sister to quiz me. If I don’t get an A this time, I never will.
So, please God help me get an A tomorrow.
I don’t want to be grounded anymore.
I think I did well on the spelling test. I won’t know until Monday.
Now I’m worried about the basketball game tomorrow. With Manny hurt, I have to play in his spot. I’m horrible. It’s going to be embarrassing. He still calls me “Airball Aaron.”
God, please let me play well tomorrow. Please.
The game could have been worse, I guess.
My coach said I played well, but Manny didn’t think so. I wish he never got hurt. Then he wouldn’t be making fun of me so much.
I didn’t make a single basket, but at least my shots weren’t airballs. Manny didn’t care. He was still mad that we lost. I was mad too, I guess. I feel like it was my fault. I made Manny break his leg and he’s way better than I am at basketball.
I’m afraid to pray for something else. I don’t want to make things worse for me or for anyone else.
I told Ms. Jane about the prayer journal and what happened. She just smiled and said, “Is that so?”
I don’t think she believed me.
Are you really reading this God?
I asked her to explain what she meant by a prayer journal. Here’s what she said:
“Keep it simple. Just write ‘thank you’ and ‘help me’ to begin your prayers. First, thank God for his help and his gifts throughout the day.”
(I definitely didn’t do that last week. Sorry God.)
“Then, you can write a prayer asking for God’s help. Just remember prayer isn’t only about asking God for things. He wants us to say thanks, too.”
So, thanks God! Things didn’t go exactly as I hoped, but I guess you did answer my prayers last week.
Thank you for Ms. Jane. She’s really helping.
I pray for a good day tomorrow. That’s all really.
I’ll write to you more tomorrow night.