A conversation with my five year old son led us to praying as a result of nearly every siren we hear now. The conversation several months ago went something like this:
Riley: Daddy! Daddy! I see an ambulance. (lights were flashing and sirens were blaring)
Me: Yes, I see it too.
Riley: Where is he going Daddy?
Me: Well Riley, the ambulance is probably going to help someone who is hurt or sick.
Riley: Daddy, should we pray for them?
How in the world can you answer any other way than to say yes to a question like that from a five year-old? Our prayers are not long and are certainly not very specific. We simply say something like:
“Lord, you know the circumstances that have caused this ambulance to be called. We pray that the person who this ambulance has been called to serve will be made comfortable. We pray that if they are sick that you make them well and if they are hurt we pray that you heal their wounds. In Jesus name, Amen.”
I shared this story with a friend a few weeks ago while having dinner in Washington, DC. A fire truck went screaming past the restaurant and I immediately thought of Riley and what he would say. I actually got a smile on my face that caught my friend’s attention. I told him what I was thinking and why. My friend couldn’t wait to share the story with his wife. He also made note that kids don’t get a heart to respond to things with prayer this way by chance. My friend was right. My wife and I do attempt to teach our children to be “others” oriented, but we have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to training and setting a good example.
As I reflected on this dinner with my friend I realized how this great little story about my son wanting to pray for strangers can open the door for sharing the gospel. Most people want to know where Riley learned to think like this. That curiosity provides a golden opportunity to give credit where credit is due and share God’s truth from the Bible. We share God’s principles in our home on a daily basis.