A Big Little Prayer

My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you. Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and of people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3: 1-6 (NRSV)

Matthew L. Harper lives in Georgia. When he was five or six years old, his granddaddy said, "I'm going to teach you a big little prayer and this is it: 'Help me, Lord.'" Matthew remembers asking to hear the rest of the prayer, and Granddaddy said that was all of it. He told Matthew that if ever he was in danger, had a problem, was afraid, or had to make a decision, he could call on the Lord.

Matthew did not understand then how a prayer could be both big and little, but he believed Granddaddy knew everything so he knew it must have been true. He has always kept that big little prayer close to his heart, and it has served him well many times. He is thankful for this seed of faith that his granddaddy sowed in his life when he was a child. In recent years he began to share this prayer with members of the Bible studies and Sunday school classes that he teaches.

When he recites this little prayer, he is trusting God to provide him with God's understanding, just as Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs. God is faithful and will guide our thoughts, words, and deeds. We can always call out, "Help me, Lord."

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for always being with us, guiding and protecting us, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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