Updated: Sep 18, 2018
The perfect way to meditate on scripture for grown-ups and kids!
A mentor of mine named Kelly always carries index cards with verses written on them wherever she goes. She pulls them out of her pocket or purse and reads them on the treadmill at the gym, in line at the doctor's office, or while waiting for her coffee to brew. This is how she memorizes God's word, hides it in her heart, and meditates on different passages. Kelly also says it is a great conversation starter when others ask her what she is reading.
When my daughter was 10 days old and my world was turned upside down, I remembered Kelly’s cards. To make a long story short, my new perfect baby girl and I were rushed to the hospital by ambulance after a routine doctor's appointment because her oxygen levels were so low. At first, baby Brinley was diagnosed with Respiratory Septal Virus (RSV) and meningitis. A few days later, we found out that she also had a heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot and would need open heart surgery in order to survive. I stayed in a tiny room in the ICU with her for 10 days with many scary touch and go moments. A friend of mine texted me this verse: "I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2).
I sang it over and over again and wrote it down on a card to hold tightly.
When Brinley was 7 months old, it was finally time for the surgery. On surgery day, we came armed with scripture cards. We wrote several comforting verses on the cards and brought them with us to the hospital to read over and over and over again. We even inserted her name into some of the passages to turn the verses into a prayer. Here are a few verses we included:
So do not fear, for I am with [Brinley]; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
For he will command his angels concerning [Brinley] to guard [her] in all [her] ways
Why Pocket Prayers
Today, I love to write out scripture. When you write scripture verses in your own handwriting, the words seep right into your brain and help you focus directly on what you've written down. It doesn’t have to be written on cards, but I love that index cards are so easy to carry anywhere.
Scripture is how we fight our battles. Meditating on verses is how we fight addictions, sadness, brokenness, temptation, pain, anxiety, fear, etc. Jesus models this for us. You can read in Matthew 4:1-11 about the time when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he fasted, prayed, and spent time with the Father for 40 days and 40 nights. At the end of the 40 days, Jesus was hungry! Satan came and tempted him and taunted him and tried to get him to eat. He whispered lies to Jesus, trying to entice him to give into the temptations of instant gratification, settling for less than, and idolatry. I don't know about you, but I hear these same lies on a regular basis. The way Jesus was able to withstand this temptation was by quoting the Bible!
How to Make Pocket Prayers
Kids of all ages can and should fight battles using Scripture, just like Jesus modeled for us. Big kids can write verses or prayers and little kids can draw symbols or pictures on index cards to keep in their pockets and take out again and again.
My son Charlie starts Kindergarten today and we are going to send him with his favorite verse right now, written out in his adorable hand writing.
From Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."