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. This is the conclusion to the four-part story. Read Part 1 , Part 2, and Part 3.
This Journal Belongs to
Today was just kind of a regular day at school. Nothing much happened. I couldn’t stop thinking about Ms. Jane and how sad she must be. I really hope her mom feels better.
That will be my prayer again today: please help Ms. Jane’s mom feel better.
This is really sad. My parents told me that Ms. Jane’s mom passed away last night.
“Pray for your grandma,” they said. “Her friend died last night. Pray for your Sunday school teacher, Ms. Jane, too. Your grandma’s friend was her mom.”
I couldn’t believe it. I was praying for the same person this whole time.
But, why didn’t this prayer work? I asked you to make her feel better, God. Why didn’t you answer this prayer?
I’m really confused. Maybe this prayer journal isn’t working. Maybe you aren’t answering my prayers after all.
Manny was being a jerk again today. He called me “Airball Aaron” and all kinds of other names at recess. I didn’t know what to do about it, so I tried something new. I asked him if there was anything I could pray about for him.
He laughed at me, but that’s fine. I remember Ms. Jane telling us that Jesus said to love our enemies. I don’t love Manny at all, but Jesus also said to pray for those who persecute us. Persecute is like when people make fun of us and call us names. So, I want to pray for Manny.
He laughed at me when I asked him what I could pray about for him, so I don’t know what he needs. I know it isn’t what I want–I’m the guy that prayed for him to break his leg. So, Lord, whatever Manny needs most, please help him out.
This is pretty amazing. Manny was different today. He actually said sorry to me. Sorry! He said he could use some prayers. He said his grandmother died a few days ago and his whole family was really sad.
I couldn’t believe this. Manny’s grandmother was my grandmother’s friend. Manny’s aunt is Ms. Jane.
I told him I had been praying for his grandmother for a couple of weeks now and he said, “Really?” That made him happy. He treated me so differently the rest of the day. He said nice things about me to the other kids at school rather than making fun of me. I think he’s my friend now.
Anyway, tomorrow is Ms. Jane’s mother’s funeral (and Manny’s grandmother). I don’t really know what to pray for. Do I ask you to make the people there happy? Do I pray for a good funeral celebration? Do I pray for Ms. Jane’s mother to reach you in heaven quickly? I don’t know. I guess I pray for all of those things. I just don’t understand why she had to die.
I called my grandma after school to ask her about the funeral. She said it was a great celebration. She said it was beautiful. I asked if she saw Ms. Jane and she said she was doing well. Manny was there, too but I don’t think my grandma talked to him.
I’m so glad Ms. Jane is doing well. Manny, too. Thanks for making them feel better about losing someone they love. I just don’t get it, though. Why didn’t you make her feel better like I asked in prayer?
Tomorrow is our last basketball game. I want to pray for a win. That way I’ll know if this prayer journal really does work and you do answer our prayers.
We lost. I’m not sure how to be thankful about that. The coach did say we were all winners in his book. But that’s not what I asked for, God! I asked for a win.
The good thing was Manny. He rooted for us and cheered us on, especially me. I’ve never heard him say a nice thing to me before this week. I had an airball and he didn’t say anything about it. After the game he told me he really appreciated my prayers and asked if he could pray for me. I hadn’t expected that and didn’t know what to say. I had been praying for other people so much I didn’t know what to tell him.
It felt awkward, but I told him to say a prayer of thanksgiving that me and Manny were friends now. Manny smiled and agreed. We made plans to play video games later that day. He came over to my house and I won every game against him.
Ugh, that’s it. I prayed for a win and I got it. I also got a friend thanks to all these prayers. Thanks God.
Ms. Jane was back today. She talked a little bit about the funeral, but I wanted to talk about it some more after class.
I came up to her after the rest of the kids left the room. I told her I had been praying for her, for her mom, and for Manny. I told her I didn’t get it. All my prayers had worked except this one. I told her that I asked you, God, to make her mom feel better and it didn’t work.
She said, “What do you mean? Of course it worked.”
I was confused, but she went on. “Aaron, my mom has been very sick for a very long time. She was in a lot of pain every day. It was just her time to go. You know what? I think she is feeling better. My mom was pretty great. She’s the reason I teach Sunday school. That suffering she went through these last few years was like the suffering of the Cross. I bet she’s feeling much better in the presence of the Lord and looking down on us from heaven.”
I didn’t know what to say. I don’t even know what to write to you right now other than to say thank you. You have answered so many of my prayers since I started writing in this journal. None of the prayers were answered in the way I thought, but you answered them. You listen to me, but you know what is best.
Lord, I have just one more prayer request. It’s the one you taught us to say. I want to keep praying with this journal, but I would like help knowing what to pray.
So, I pray that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. My thoughts and prayers are nothing in comparison to your big plans for us.
So, Lord, thy will be done!