I thought it would be a great opportunity to teach Chloe about praying. To pray anywhere, at any time, no matter what the need.
While we were in Texas for Amy's 10-year high school reunion, Chloe was at Amy's parents' house throwing up. Amy's mother called and told us to stop on the way back and get some Pedialyte so Chloe wouldn't get dehydrated.
By the time we got home, the "spurt count" had reached six times. I called the nurse line, did the checks they told me to do in order to make sure she wasn't dehydrated and although all indications were that she was fine, I was ready to load her in the car and take her to the hospital if the spurt count ever reached seven.
While I sat with Chloe, trying to keep her calm (this was the first time she'd been that sick, and it really scared her), I asked her if she wanted to pray. She said no. I asked her if she wanted me to pray for her, and she agreed to that.
I closed my eyes and she did the same. I leaned close to her so that our foreheads nearly touched (probably not the smartest thing to do with her likely to spurt again at any moment). I said, "Dear God, please help Chloe feel better. Amen." I opened my eyes and immediately she said, "It didn't work!"
I thought I was going to teach Chloe something about prayer, but she taught me. How many times do we pray, expecting it to be an immediate, magical fix to our problems? And how many times are we disappointed with God when the fix doesn't come as quickly as we expect it to?
Now don't get me wrong. Our heavenly father is powerful, capable and sometimes he does answer our prayers immediately. But many times, he doesn't. In many cases, it takes some time to get the answers to our prayers.
Why does God answer some prayers immediately and not others? I don't know. But what I do know is this: God doesn't want us to give up. He wants us to persevere in our praying (Luke 18:1-8). He wants us to constantly seek him.
And when we do, it builds our reliance on him. It deepens our faith and our trust in him to answer our prayers.
So when God doesn't answer your prayers as quickly as you think he should, maybe it's because he wants you to spend more time in his presence than you normally would.
That's not an altogether bad thing, is it?
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesville times.com/life.