Courage at Twilight: Prayers of the Innocent

As a boy, Dad’s mother Dora prayed with him every night, saying, “Bless the cost and worn.”  He thought it a good thing to ask God to bless the cost and worn, whoever they were—their situation sounded grim.  Sometime later, Dad asked her, “Mother, who are the cost and worn?”  She looked quizzical, confessing she did not know.  They thought and thought and repeated the phrase together numerous times, eventually realizing they had meant to be asking in prayer for those who had “cause to mourn.”  Of course, God knew their hearts, and what they meant to say, and who the cost and worn were—and doubtless He accepted their petition.  Again as a little boy, Dad was asked in his church primary class to offer a prayer.  He stood dutifully in front of the class and ventured, “Heavenly Father, help us to beat the Japs.”  While one would never refer to the noble Japanese people in that fashion today, eighty years ago, in 1942, that very prayer was on the lips and minds of tens of millions of people.  Even a seven-year-old boy felt the weight of the great conflict that was World War II, and asked his God to end it.  I have heard many testimonials from young children who prayed to find something they had lost, and immediately seeing in their mind, or feeling an impression about, where the lost thing was, and finding it precisely there.  I have felt tempted to pooh-pooh this puerile witness of the Divine.  But then I remember that God loves little children (and wants us older folks to be like them)—He wants to bless them, and appreciates their simple supplications as much or more than my own more complex concerns.  Children love and have faith and hope.  And what sweeter exercise of faith could one encounter than a small child turning to God in momentary distress.  An excellent pattern we would do well to emulate our whole life long.  The next time I lose my car keys, I will pray to God to help me find them.  Tonight, I will pray for the cost and worn.

(Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay)

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