Fleeting Prayers

So today, I am thankful for those fleeting, under-the-breath prayers that we mutter about seemingly inconsequential things, and the surprising (and quick!) ways in which God chooses to answer them. Allow me to explain:

My friend is having a baby. I am practically phobic of baby stores – I kid you not, I start to experience palpitations, and I feel incredibly stressed out in there. You literally could not pay me to go into one of those stores voluntarily, because in my mind, the experience is overwhelming and nearly traumatizing (I feel similarly about baby showers, too).

Anyway, I decided to go because I wanted to purchase a baby gift for my friend. She told me where she was registered, and I just happened to pass the store on my way home from church. As I headed toward the store’s entrance, I offered up a “Lord, please help!” prayer and walked in, prepared for the worst.

Let me tell you how quickly God answered my prayer! First off, the baby registry section was located at the very front of the store (hallelujah, thank You, Jesus). Secondly, there was a woman sitting there – let’s call her Jane, for the purposes of this story – and she appeared warm and approachable. I made a bee-line for Jane, sat down, and said the following:

“I need to buy a gift for my friend, and I am absolutely phobic of baby stores and have no idea what to get her. Can you help me? I’d like to do this as quickly as possible.”

Jane smiled warmly and replied, “Yes.” She proceeded to print out the baby registry. She asked me, “What kind of gift do you have in mind?”

I stared back at her blankly (like I know? In case you can’t tell, I am not a parent). She invited me to thumb through the multi-page registry and see what caught my eye.

My eyes nearly glazed over. Page after page of things written in English, but if pressed, I couldn’t tell you what they were if my life depended on it. Thankfully, the registry had pictures, and they were helpful to a certain extent. I gave Jane my budget, and eventually landed on two safe items – things I could recognize and explain to another person, if asked – and arranged to have them shipped to my friend’s house.

I was so grateful that I nearly wept. I thanked Jane over and over for her kind assistance. She really seemed happy to help me, and was extremely calm and understanding.

Miracle of miracles, I didn’t even have to walk down a single aisle! I was able to get in and out of the store in under thirty minutes, and I walked back to my car feeling lighter in spirit; I literally exclaimed, “Thank You, Jesus!”

For some of you, this seems to be a small thing. But I am so incredibly grateful that God heard my desperate plea and arranged an immediate response in a matter of seconds. Thank You, Lord!

Here is my prayer for today: Jesus! Thank You for saving me at the baby store today! You know that I love my friend, but that I dread baby stores about as much as I dislike going into Home Depot. Thank You also for the reminder that You hear and respond to all of my prayers – even the ones muttered casually, under my breath. Help me to remember that nothing is ever big or small to You, even if things seem that way to me.

I also ask for a hedge of protection for my friend who is having the baby. She is not a believer, as You know, but You also know that this baby is a miracle from You. I know that she understands this in her mind, but I’m not sure that this truth has made its way down to her heart. Would You please use this time to draw her and her husband closer to You? I ask that You calm any anxiety in her heart, and that her labor and delivery would be smooth and seamless. Equip her and her husband with the knowledge and wisdom to be good parents, and spark in them a desire to raise their child in a way that honors You. In Your name I pray, Amen.

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