Giggles were dancing through the door of the room. The happy chatter of my children and their seemingly undaunted enthusiasm despite the weather always amaze me.
For a while, my oldest had been an only child. When her little brother came along, it felt like getting the most delicious treat in the world. Well, that’s how my daughter described it anyway. For us, seeing her finally have a sibling is always something we are thankful for.
They love each other. Sure, they have the usual sibling squabbles that I sometimes think will never end. But the next moment, I’ll find them grabbing some crayons to create masterpieces. Maybe even rolling on the floor as they tried another method of moving about. (Walking is overrated.)
I couldn’t help but smile hearing those giggles. It made this mama’s heart happy.
Things took a turn pretty quickly after that. A loud thud and then an ear piercing scream. I dashed into the living room and found a screaming toddler with blood dripping out of his mouth. An equally scared little girl was standing next to him.
As I tried to quickly stop the bleeding, I learned from my daughter that her brother somehow tripped and hit the corner of a sill. I gave her a reassuring hug as she started to cry too.
When it felt like the bleeding was not going to stop, the first thing on my mind was to get my son to the doctor. I promptly popped both kids into their car seats. As I scrambled into the driver’s seat, my daughter who was still crying, desperately said, “Let’s pray for him, mom. Jesus can heal him.”For a few seconds, I was frozen in my seat.
There I sat, with so many options of how to help my son. Choosing what I thought was best. What I felt was the right thing to do.
And there she sat, eager to do the one thing she could in the moment. Pray.
Receiving the gift
My first memories of prayer is of my pious grandmother sitting and doing her daily prayers. I don’t remember seeing her skip this routine of hers. Often, there would be a grandchild or two sitting with her. As children sometimes do, we tried to escape these moments by making sure we were nowhere in sight when she was about to start praying. We also secretly tried to crawl out of the room, when she had her eyes closed and in deep concentration.
I will always treasure those memories. Despite our cheeky antics as young children, that reverence and awe of Jesus in my grandmother’s eyes always had an impact on me.
As a teenager and having my first personal encounter with Jesus, the gift of prayer was like cool, fresh water to my desperately dry needs and wants. At that time, it did not seem like I had many options. I took everything to God in prayer. He was the first person to know my heart’s desires. The One who saw my silent tears when words were stuck in my throat. A constant companion.
I’m not sure how or when, but I grew up. Instead of the clumsy and fickle minded teen, here sits an adult that’s got a carefully written to do list. (Well, maybe still a little clumsy too!) Sometimes, I look back and hardly recognize that young girl who didn’t have the right plans, or all the answers.
It took one moment with my sweet daughter for it all to come rushing back.
My first resort
When I was young and had nothing, prayer was my first resort. Now that I’m older and can comfortably have and do more, I had to learn once again to make prayer the first thing I do.
It does not mean that I don’t do the natural. Going to the doctor is not wrong. Being practical is not a sin. It’s a heart change. Doing the natural, but first turning to the One who can do the supernatural.
As we drove to see the doctor that day, my daughter and I prayed together. Her simple words must have been a sweet sound to the Lord. It definitely was the comfort and strength I needed in that moment.
Her little brother was alright.
Her mom? I was grateful to be given the gift of prayer once again.
Mussita Ng is a follower of Jesus Christ from Wellington, New Zealand. Her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mussita-ng.html