A couple weeks ago, I heard what I think was one of the most beautiful prayers of my life. A group of friends had gathered, and before we ate, someone asked Victoria if she would like to lead in the prayer.
Victoria is barely 4 years old, and she hesitated at first. But with a little coaxing from her Mom, she agreed to it.
As she bowed her head to pray, her demeanor and the words she said showed what a child-like faith is really like. Her prayer was a wonderful example of what it is like to pray believing that God hears our prayers, that He is all-powerful, that He loves us and wants to meet our needs, and that He will answer when we call on Him in the name of Jesus. Of these things, Victoria was certain, even if she couldn’t articulate it like an adult.
There were apparently three things that she wanted to talk to God about in that moment. The first was that she was glad she was about to eat. The second was that her grandmother had cancer, and that she was going to soon have a surgery to try to remove the cancerous tissue. Doctors didn’t give her a good chance of recovery, though, as it was a “fast-growing” kind of cancer. The third thing on Victoria’s mind was a missionary named Gretchen, who had spoken at our church not long ago. Gretchen’s plea to the church to pray for the salvation of the people of India where she and her husband are missionaries penetrated Victoria’s heart, if it escaped the adults in attendance.
Here’s what Victoria said, in her four-year-old language to God in that moment: “Dear God, Thank You for this food. And thank You for Nana. And please make the bad stuff come out of her soon. And pray for Miss Gretchen. And the people up in India that You would forgive them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Then she opened her eyes, smiled, and started eating. Everything was taken care of. The simplicity of a four-year-old’s faith and prayer had dealt with the complex problems of the world she was in. I think I’ll remember Victoria’s prayer for a long time.
By the way, Victoria’s grandmother had that surgery three days ago. The doctors were baffled. They couldn’t find any cancer and are wondering what on earth happened.