A Car for Hayley
by Lynette Kittle
“And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him” - 1 John 5:15
At five years old, our daughter Hayley started pleading to us for a child's battery-operated car. Seeing them advertised on television and neighborhood kids driving them around, she longed to have one of her own. With my husband serving full-time as a pastor, along with taking on varying side jobs to provide for our growing family, and me at home as a full-time wife, mother, and home school teacher, our family of six lived on an extremely tight budget.
When Hayley shared her heart’s desire with me, I said, “Oh, wouldn’t that be fun! Why don’t you ask God for a car?” Ask God, she thought? I could see it written all over her face as she asked "Well, how can God get me a car?" "God can do anything. Nothing is too difficult for Him," I explained. "God loves you Hayley, even more than we do. Ask Him because He tells us, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).
Cultivating Our Parental Faith
It’s tough being a parent at times, wrestling with not wanting our children to be disappointed in God, questioning whether to try and figure out some way to get them the answer they want. Yet more importantly as a parent, it’s vital for our children to develop their own relationship with God. As a mother or father, it comes down to trusting God more than we trust ourselves. It’s developing faith as a parent to believe God’s ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30), and better than our ways of meeting our kids’ requests. It’s cultivating trust in how and when He answers their prayers.
Nurturing Our Children’s Faith
So Hayley’s daily prayer became, "Dear God, please give me a motor car.” As she persisted in her request, I silently echoed her petition reminding myself how God says, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it”(John 14:14). Likewise, prayers for her faith to be deepened and for her face to be set like flint in determination to keep praying (Isaiah 50:7). Also, prayers for her to grow and cultivate a strong don’t ever give up kind of faith deep within her heart.
In watching her faith journey, my comfort came in knowing, “And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him,”(1 John 5:15). Although some believers make a point of saying we can’t take what Jesus said literally, He knew how people would take His words to heart. He could have worded it differently so that it had limits and restraints on our asking but Jesus didn’t set those limits over it.
As weeks passed by, I kept encouraging Hayley to, "Keep praying!" even though she often responded to my words by rolling her eyes and stomping her little foot in frustration.
Faith Rolls In on Wheels
Then one day my husband arrived home with a surprise. He beamed as he placed a beaten-up car on our driveway. It looked rough, very rough, but it was a child’s motorcar. While on a clergy visit he noticed the car in the family's backyard. In asking the woman about it, he discovered it belonged to her granddaughter. Asking if she might consider selling it, the woman promised to ask her grandchild about it.
A few weeks later he returned to visit the woman again. While there, her granddaughter told him after praying about it; she believed Jesus wanted her to give her outgrown car to our daughter as a gift from Him. Beaten up and without a working battery the car needed work, but when Hayley spotted it in our driveway, she was delighted. "I have a car! I have a car! Thank you God!" she yelled as she jumped up and down with excitement.
In the weeks following, Hayley and my husband transformed the car into a freshly pink-painted, new battery-operated, polished-up chrome motorcar. Soon Hayley was driving her answer-to-prayer car around the driveway with her little sister, Kaitlyn, in tow. Because God’s ways are perfect and better than my own, through prayer, we saw Him speak to one little girl’s heart to answer the prayer of another little girl’s heart.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Look for ways to encourage your children to pray to God. Help them understand how God is the One we turn to first in our requests and how He is faithful to hear us and answer when we ask Him.
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.
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