What Vaccines Taught Me About Prayer


Image courtesy Melissa Andrews

Yesterday Joshua had to get four shots from his pediatrician. The experience reinforced some things I have been trying to sort out about prayer recently.

I didn’t tell him about the shots on the way to the office, but after the nurse checked him out and we were waiting on the doctor to come in, he asked if he was going to get a shot. I nodded and told him he would be getting four.

His little face fell. I asked him if he was scared. He said yes. So I told him we could pray about it, and he said ok – so we did. Here’s the thing though:

  1. Praying didn’t make the shots go away. We knew the door would open at any minute and the event would commence.
  1. Praying didn’t make the shots any less painful. By shot #4, he was a screaming mess in my arms, and I was threatening to bawl myself.

So what was the point? Praying helped us acknowledge that there was a problem in our lives that we had to face. Praying with me helped him know that while he would still have to get the shots, both Jesus and I would be with him the entire time.

Contrary to what we’ve been taught, I don’t think prayer is for us to ask God for a list of things. It’s to acknowledge that there is a Supreme Being who is there to help us get through all life throws us.

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