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How to Keep Fear at Bay

Sometimes we adults can learn about prayer from our kids. Here’s an example.

A little boy's prayer hits the mark.
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Kids come up with the funniest stuff. I was reminded of that by a Facebook message recently from an old family friend, Jeremiah Shelton (usually known as Bub). Bub hung out at our house with our sons when they were growing up. He calls me “Mom,” and we call Bub our fourth son.

Here’s what he sent me about his little boy, Jeremy, who is about six years old:

“I just wanted to share an interesting story with you. Jeremy just recently learned about coyotes. He is slightly scared of them and is always looking to make sure there are none around.

READ MORE: HOW TO PRAY HEALING PRAYERS

“The other night when the wind was blowing hard, he came and got me and said he heard a coyote in the gutter outside his window. His window is about 25 feet off the ground. I tried to explain to him that coyotes cannot climb up the side of the house, and they would not do so in order to just play in the gutter.

“I tried for about ten minutes to assure him that there were no coyotes on our roof or in our gutters. He was still very upset and came back to me several times saying he was positive there was a coyote in the gutter.

“That night at bedtime he did something that immediately made me think of you. When he was saying his blessing, he prayed and asked God to protect us from the coyotes and to not let them get into our gutters. He prayed that God would keep them from climbing the gutter and jumping through the window.

“He then stopped praying and said that he wanted to make sure the doors were locked so the coyotes couldn’t get in because He thought he heard one turning the handle.

“I then lost it.”

Well, I lost it, laughing with Bub when I read that. But as I thought about it throughout the day, I realized that little boy has a powerful lesson to teach us. Even as a little guy, he knows where to go when afraid. He knows his daddy loves him and protects him, but he also knows to take his fears to God. And it in the case of the coyotes, it wasn’t just a generic prayer. Jeremy prayed about specifics.

We may not be afraid that coyotes are in our gutters—or turning our door handles to get in—but we have many other fears that consume us. Maybe instead of worrying until we have ulcers, we should do what Jeremy did—get on our knees and go to the One who can soothe our hearts, provide wisdom, fix our problems, and, yes, even keep the coyotes away from the door.

God says it best in Psalm 56:3, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

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Walking with Jesus: Devotions for Lent & Easter 2024

Experience a journey of spiritual growth this 2024 Lenten season. This remarkable book is a compilation of thought-provoking reflections from various women of faith. Prepare yourself for Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection with daily devotions that not only deepen your understanding but also strengthen your faith.

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