This weekend our oldest son Donovan is with us (we get him every other weekend). It is not enough, but we will take what we are allowed. Dee really struggles with his emotions – A common theme in our household. He suffers from a low iron count, and research has been done that low iron contributes to behavioral issues such as defiance, irritability, anger, frustration, and a bevy of other things. We were having a simple conversation, okay I thought it should have been a simple conversation, about needing to buy new clothes. Somehow he got upset, not sure how! I got frustrated and escaped a moment to say a quiet prayer. Afterwards I asked him if he believed that God answered prayers. His response was “No.” Come to find out, he has prayed to find things, but has never found the things he asked Heavenly Father to help him find. I can see his frustration. I wanted to explain to him that sometimes that in and of itself is an answer. Not one that he wants, but he wasn’t in any condition to continue the conversation. He struggles with appropriate behavior when carrying on a discussion. He doesn’t like to look at us, he covers his head, and today he covered his head with a basket. I remained calm, Dad did not. Dee spent a few minutes calming down in his room and I thought about children and prayer.
There is a children’s Hymn that I love:
A Child’s Prayer
- 1. Heavenly Father, are you really there?And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?Some say that heaven is far away,But I feel it close around me as I pray.Heavenly Father, I remember nowSomething that Jesus told disciples long ago:“Suffer the children to come to me.”Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.
- 2. Pray, he is there;Speak, he is list’ning.You are his child;His love now surrounds you.He hears your prayer;He loves the children.Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.
Words and music: Janice Kapp Perry, b. 1938(c) 1984 by Janice Kapp Perry.
I stayed calm. While my husband spoke with our son I pondered how best to be an example to my stepson, without being overbearing. When he came back I asked him if he would be willing to say a prayer and ask to stay calm. He did so silently. We then had a quick conversation about expectations and what the plans for the day were. Heavenly Father answered his prayer. We had a two second conversation that went something like this:
“Dee, when you prayed what did you ask for?” I asked.
“Um, that I could listen.” He replied
“Did he answer your prayer?” I queried. With a slight smile on his face Dee nodded.
I’m not sure if he really got the point, but I can hope. I can hope that he will continue to ask Heavenly Fater for a calming influence, as I have. Maybe it can help him with his anger and frustration as it has helped mine. I hope that he too can feel the Lord’s comforting arms around him as he prays.