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The Right Prayer for My Son

The inspirational moment that helped one woman find common ground with her teenager.

My son’s bedroom was a disaster area. The rest of my house was immaculate, and I was determined that my 16-year-old, who sat quietly studying at his desk, meet my housekeeping standards. “Dale, do something with this mess—now!” I ordered.

“But, Mom, I like it this way,” he protested. “I know where to find stuff.” If he didn’t care about appearances, I’d do it myself.

The next day, I went into his room. While straightening a stack of papers I discovered his daily devotional book open on his desk. He must have been reading this morning, I thought. God is more interested in my son’s life than in the state of his room. Perhaps I should be too.

I fluffed Dale’s pillows. Lord, bless the head that lies here. I lined up the shoes in his closet, and asked, Give his feet direction. While hanging shirts I thanked God for Dale’s strong arms and hands. May they serve you constantly.

After that, I walked past the messy room without getting angry. My son did his part too, always expressing appreciation for my efforts. And sometimes, just for me, he picked up his dirty socks.


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