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Should Have Prayed!
Photo: Blake Campbell
Last week our family was invited to a friend’s home for lunch. It was a beautiful day, and we all enjoyed a fine picnic outside in the fresh air and warm sunshine.

Later, as the adults relaxed in the shade of a giant maple tree, the children jumped on the trampoline and played Frisbee in our friend’s spacious backyard. Several pleasant hours slipped by before we began to gather up our things to go home.

That was when our son discovered his pocketknife was missing. A careful examination revealed a hole in the pocket of his trousers. “We’ll go look for it,” chorused several of the children. And off they ran. But the area where the youngsters had played was large, and we did not feel hopeful of finding the small, ivory-toned pocketknife.

“He has several other knives,” I reasoned to myself. “This really isn’t a big deal. He’ll probably forget all about it in a day or two.” So, with our friends promising to stay on the lookout for the missing pocketknife, we went on our way.

Five days later the phone rang. Our friend related the amazing story of how a neighbor had spotted the lost pocket knife in the grass while he was mowing and brought it to their house. I happily informed our son that his knife had been found and would be returned to him promptly.

Missed Opportunity

But my happiness was short-lived as I reflected on the whole incident. Why? Because I realized I had missed an opportunity to strengthen my son’s faith in the power of prayer. We should have prayed about that lost pocketknife! Then when it was found we could have said, “See how much God cares about you, and even the little things in your life?” We could have joyously praised God for his kindness and watch care.

Oh, we will still thank God for the lost pocketknife being found when we kneel for our family prayer time tonight. But it won’t be as powerful as if we’d specifically prayed about the knife before it was found.

Please, God, help me to be conscious of every opportunity for prayer. May turning to you in every situation become such a habit that I can always say, “we're glad we prayed” instead of “we should have prayed.”

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By Brenda Forbes Dickerson. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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