A letter written to our church administrators warning them of a prayer request my four year insisted I write in our church's "Prayer Request Book".
Dear Kathy & Julia,
Our preschoolers LOVE to pray. My heart leaps with joy every time I walk into the Preschool Sunday School classroom and see those little guys kneeling down, faces to the floor with their eyes covered talking to God. Michael is no exception. He loves to pray... especially out loud and in public. If I allowed it, he would raise his hand every Sunday to ask Chris to pray for him and then raise his hand again for an unspoken request. I am often torn between wanting to encourage him in his love of prayer (however immature and perhaps selfishly motivated it might be) and not wanting to over-run an already lengthy intercessory prayer time with his prayers for his stuffed elephant. So when the prayer-book format was established, it provided me an avenue of escape from my dilemma. When he raises his hand for prayer, I tell him "This time is only for urgent requests and praises for answered prayer. We can write your prayer in the book." However, up until yesterday, this conversation would usually come up after the prayer book had already passed by and I'd always forget to go get one after the service.
This brings me to the subject of Michael's prayer request yesterday. We got out the book and the pen and I asked him what he wanted to pray for, "do you want to thank God for something, or ask him for something?" (At first he wanted to write it himself, but I told him if we wanted Pastor Chris to be able to actually read it, he better let me do it). He said he wanted to ask God for something. "OK, what?" He put his hands over his eyes and said, "Please, God, don't let me die." Hmmm. I could imagine you guys reading this with worried looks on your faces. I suggested to him that maybe he was asking God to "keep him safe," which sounded a little less morbid to me, and he agreed to let me add that in.
Now there is a little background story to all this, which explains (a little) why Michael is pondering his mortality. Saturday, after going out for breakfast, he bolted away from us in the parking lot. Both Curtis and I laid into him about the dangers of running loose in a parking lot, namely that "he could get run over and die!" In true "Curtis" fashion, Michael started arguing his case for running in the parking lot by pointing out that perhaps the wheels would not get him and he could slip through unscathed between the tires. Obviously, we had not made our point strongly enough, so Curtis bluntly says, "No, you'd be dead. Gone! No more Michael!" Not willing to give up so easily, Michael points out that he "really wouldn't be dead because he would be alive with Christ in heaven." This was a very good point, and we were very pleased that he was applying spiritual matters to his everyday life. However, we did not feel this was furthering our case for "not running through a parking lot when you're only three feet tall." The discussion continued, leading us to point out that you must really trust in Jesus before you can go to heaven. He thought on this for a bit and came to the conclusion that "there are no kids in heaven, only babies and adults" and wanted to know, "why was that?"
So that's the explanation behind Michael's prayer request. By the way, I will also be submitting this story with my application for "Christian Parent of the Year", along with my answer to Michael's other recent question, "Was I in God's mind or in your tummy when you and Dad got married?"