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A Sweet Reminder to Pray

A bowl of peanut M&Ms inspired her family to spend time with Jesus.

By Cynthia Ruchti, Wausau, Wisconsin

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Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)

My brother-in-law needed a place to stay. Our simple life in the country offered the kind of reflection time he craved while he waited for the sentence that would change his life dramatically for the next seven years. So my husband and I took him in for two months and adapted to his habits as he did to ours.

We quickly became accustomed to his peanut M&M addiction. When he left our house to begin serving his court-ordered sentence, we held on to the ever-present bowl of peanut M&M’s and turned it from addiction to a prayer ministry. Guests and family who knew the story were told, “You’re welcome to the M&M’s, but if you take one, use it as a reminder to pray.”

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The grandkids were especially interested in a prayer ministry connected with a big bowl of M&M’s. “Who are you praying for now, Josh?” I asked as he swiped another from the bowl. “The whole world.” “Oh. Okay.” Can’t fault a child for knowing the whole world needs prayer.

Five-year-old Andy grabbed a chocolate-covered peanut, bowed his head and leaned it against the buffet on which the bowl rested, ate the peanut, then promptly grabbed another and bowed his head again. What had we started? When I’d caught Josh with his hand in the bowl too many times one afternoon, I asked, “Now, be honest with Grammie. Who were you praying for just now?” “I was just telling Jesus how much I love Him.” “Um…carry on.”

Faith step: How many quick but deeply meaningful “Jesus, I love You so much!” prayers pepper your day and mine? I have to believe He’s at least as pleased to hear it as I am to know my grandsons–whatever the motivation–are faithful to say it.