“Mom, I was calling for you very quietly. It was hard to wait, so I prayed.”
I rocked my infant daughter to sleep, hoping my three-year-old would play quietly without interrupting. “What did you pray for?”
“I asked Jesus to help me wait and he did!” My heart overflowed with joy as we praised God for his answer to this prayer, because sometimes it’s hard for me to tell if my example is making a difference.
Are the endless repetitions of prayers and practicing and talking really registering with her? Today, I had renewed vision and encouragement because yes, she is starting to “get it.” Many times we’ve prayed with her to ask Jesus to help her obey, be kind, calm down. In this one instance, she took the initiative to do this on her own.
Jesus Wants Us to Ask for Help
My daughter’s childlike faith encouraged my own heart as well. It caused me to ask myself:
When I get frustrated or angry or impatient, do I invite him to help me and do I believe he will?
Do I believe that when things are hard, he really does love to help me?
Jesus told his disciples in John 14 that he would send the Holy Spirit to be their “Helper.” Jesus knows life is difficult, and he doesn’t intend for us to do it alone. He even told his disciples it was better for him to leave so he could send the Holy Spirit. This seems surprising, but Jesus, as a physical person, could only be one place at a time. The Holy Spirit, however, can be present with, minister to, and help every believer as they have need. In the flurry of life, we often go about our own ways, thinking we’re doing things for Jesus when really he wants to do things with us. It’s his pleasure and desire to counsel, advise, and walk with us step-by-step, even in the things that feel mundane or insignificant. This is a precious, treasured reminder that the seeds we sow in our children matter, and Jesus desires to help us in every moment.
Jesus Cares About the Details
Recently, I’ve had some anxiety surrounding our family circumstances: upcoming transition for my husband in his job, missing the presence and help of extended family, and personally feeling the intensity of raising little ones. Thinking back to my daughter’s prayer as she asked Jesus to help her, encourages me to do the same. I tell her Jesus cares about the details of our lives. Now it’s my turn to practice what I’ve modeled.
So this morning, I sat with my journal and listed all the things bearing down on me. The anxiety didn’t fully disappear, but there’s comfort knowing Jesus is with me in it. Even though he already knew everything I shared with him, there’s intimacy and a sense of rest that comes from knowing, “...the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
This whole experience feels full circle. We model the practice of seeking Jesus and asking him for his help to our little ones, over and over again. Then, when they do it on their own, we’re encouraged and our faith takes the example to heart. When we model relationship with Jesus for our little ones, there is truly power, for them and for us. He is our helper, he is near, and he desires to walk with us every step of the way, every moment of the day.
Jillian Armstrong is a wife and stay-at-home mom of two little girls. She’s passionate about empowering women to thrive in their current season, and she also loves to read, garden and cook. Her family lives in a lower income neighborhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with the desire to pursue racial reconciliation and to serve the under-served. Connect with her on Instagram & Facebook.