My almost-5-year-old son has been waking up with “bad dreams.” He doesn’t describe what happens, just that he wakes up afraid. Thankfully, my husband has gone in to soothe him and pray with him in the middle of the night while I continue in my dead sleep, completely unaware. But Charlie told me about it the next day. He said he didn’t want anymore bad dreams. Understandable. So, Thursday, I told him that we would pray before he went to sleep so that God could protect him from bad dreams. Unfortunately, I had a bad day. I was frustrated and moody and so focused on myself and not on him that I forgot.
So, this morning as we drove to school, Charlie told me that we had forgotten to pray to God about his bad dreams. Oh no. For a split second I focused only on my screw up, a missed opportunity! But I knew God could use my mistake for His glory. Before I said anything else, I asked him if he had any bad dreams last night. When he said “no,” I joyously responded, with a huge smile, that God had answered his prayer! I reminded Charlie that God knew His prayer even if we didn’t pray them out loud and even if mommy wasn’t there to pray with him. He already knows that God hears his prayers, every thought that he has, so it was a good chance for him to chime in the conversation. I love that we can have a dialogue and I don’t feel like I am preaching to him. But I also explained that God gave us the Holy Spirit and sometimes He even prays on our behalf! God knows our hearts better than we do. He knows everything about us, so he makes it easy for us to talk with him about anything.
I added that I was sorry I had forgotten, but that God would never forget. It was a good reminder for both of us.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26