Penny’s Prayers

I was putting Penny to bed tonight and I asked, “Do you want me to pray for you?”

She nodded.

“What do you want me to pray for?”

“Help me control my hands at school.”

When I had picked Penny up from school that morning, her teacher had told me Penny was “like a tumbleweed.” I can imagine the details–rolling around on the floor during circle time, taking toys from other kids, refusing to follow directions… When I asked Penny what happened, she didn’t want to talk about it.

So, as she lay in bed, eyes half-closed from exhaustion, listening to me pray, I said, “God, thank you for Penny and for the gift she is to us and for the hard work she’s doing at school. Please help her to control her hands.”

Her eyes popped open. “No. Mom. I can do it myself.”

“Sweetie, I’m sure God would like to help you.”

“No.” She pushed herself up in bed. “I can do it myself.”

“How about I pray that God would help you do it yourself?”


So I prayed and stroked her head and said, “Amen.”

She looked at me. “But Mom, what do you need God to help you with?” We weren’t done until we had prayed for every member of the family.

Maybe she exasperates her teachers. Maybe she annoys the other kids. Maybe she’s a tumbleweed. Maybe she could work harder to control her hands.

One thing I know for sure. She is very very loved.

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