(Adapted from “Courtney’s Prayer” by Jeff Wiles. Used by permission)
The most moving and beautiful prayers I ever heard came from a skinny, energetic little girl that my wife and I once taught in Children’s Church. Her name was Courtney, and every time we asked for volunteers to lead in prayer, she always raised her hand.
But something happened to me when I listened to Courtney’s prayers: I cried. And often when I went home, I’d wonder what specific qualities made her prayers so soul-stirring and powerful. Was it her honesty? The simplicity of her words? One day I realized it had nothing to do with her words or requests. What made her prayers so beautiful was the God she prayed to.
Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children (Luke 18:16 NLT)."
Courtney’s God was personal. He was interested in missing kittens, scary math tests, and a baby goat having difficulty nursing. He cared about scratches on her knee, the poison ivy on her arms, and a loose front tooth that wouldn’t come out.
Courtney’s God was also a big God…really big…really, really big. Some kind of superhero God. After all, she had heard those Sunday School stories of how he sent down fire from heaven and parted the Red Sea. Those were pretty impressive feats, and if God could do things that incredible he certainly was capable of handling any issue in her life-big or small.
In the fall of 2009-four months after the passing of my father, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Slowly, I will lose control of my muscles, and movement will become increasingly difficult. I’ve prayed many times that God will give me strength to bear what could be an onerous journey, but occasionally I just ask him to heal me. I’m sure Courtney would ask. In her mind, there was nothing God couldn’t do. She was right of course, and I pray she never forgets it.
There’s nothing you can do that will cause God to stop caring for you, and there’s nothing you can ask of him that he cannot do. After all, he’s personal…and he’s big.