Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/4/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Bonner Springs UMC
Edwardsville UMC
Kansas City District
Bucyrus UMC
Kansas City District
DeSoto UMC
Kansas City District
Easton UMC
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Kittens and Prayers

Just weeks ago, this sweet little girl
awakened early and went to straight to her
grandmother, still in her summer pj’s,
and wiping sleep from her thoughtful eyes.

“Wake up, Grandma! It’s time to pray!”
That’s how it is that the little girl and
her granny began each day in prayer
when she came to visit from so far away.

She so yearns and prays for a pet to love
that she recognizes the soft kitten
that appears in her life as sent by
God to be her companion and friend.

I believe that Spirit listens intently
to the prayers of a five-year-old girl
curled into her granny’s lap while petting
a purring kitten aptly named Treasure.

Soon this fluffy kitten and the prayer box
crafted by her pastor will be flying east.
Prayers that unite girl and granny
will endure and make God’s heart sing.

Today's Devotional

Recently I’ve been thinking about the relationships between pets, children and elders, and comparing them to the relationship with our God. Our family basset was named Scooter. She was a husky one and quite strong. While our older son delivered the morning newspapers, she would pull our older son on his skateboard. Scooter was also in love with our daughter’s boyfriend and would give him googly eyes when sitting on his lap watching movies. She didn’t want anyone else around. Scooter was more of a farm dog than one with a pedigree, but when she died the whole family gathered around to weep unashamedly.

It only seems right when people ask for prayers for their beloved pets, they become part of who we are and for many are the best characterization of what God’s unconditional love is all about.

It certainly makes sense that the little girl mentioned in the poem above prayed for a pet and had no trouble giving God the credit when the kitten rubbed up against her leg and showed her love.

This prayer from Saint Francis of Assisi says it well,

O God, Your goodness is turned upon every living thing and Your grace flows to all Your creatures.
From our souls to theirs, goodness flows, touching each of us with the reflection of Your love.
Grant to our special animal companions long and healthy lives.
Give them good relationships with us, and if You see fit to take them from us,
help us to understand that they are gone from us, but only drawing closer to You…Amen.

It is good to write down our prayers so that we remember to offer prayers of gratefulness when they are answered. We may not always understand why things happen but can be grateful for another day that we breathe, can watch the rising and setting of the sun, and have a chance to sing a tune.

Know that God loves you and is with your spirit,

Rev. Marta Wheeler
Omaha: St. Paul Benson


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