God, I need a friend, I hurt all over. God, please be my friend.
This boy asked me to give his note to God. At that moment, God planted a seed in me. The young boy’s request touched my heart so much that I still have that slip of paper.
I wish now that I could have prayed with the boy. Yet even though I was raised in a Christian church for 19 years of my life and even though I knew about God and Jesus, I really did not know how to pray. I only knew the old memorized prayers like “God is great, God is good” and “Now I lay me down to sleep”. Because these were not appropriate in this moment, I felt helpless.
As the years passed, I continued teaching elementary and special education. After earning my Doctor of Education, I taught Language Arts to prospective teachers for 28 years. During these years I did not attend church, nor did I pray. I put my whole life into my work and my students. During these years I researched and wrote 8 poplar books for teaching children to open their thoughts and feelings before speaking or writing.
After a successful career as a professor at several major universities, I finally retired, yet that little boy’s request never left my heart. One day when I was alone in my home, I felt a huge hand on my right shoulder. It frightened me. Then I heard a firm voice that said, “Cherlyn, (pause) NOW, it is time for you to use all of your knowledge for ME.”
This startled me, until I realized that God was talking to me. I responded, “What do you want me to do?” But I did not get a direct answer. I was lead to a church and for over a year I struggled trying to understand what God wanted me to do.
Slowly, I began to realize that I had spent all my life teaching and working with children. And with that little boy’s note still in my mind, it became clearer to me what God wanted me to do. I was to use my knowledge of research-based methods for leading children to compose their thoughts and feelings. This was the gift that God had built in me over the last 40 years.
Once I opened my heart, God started pouring prayer ideas into my mind. I wrote these down in a format, based on decades of research. I began to try these ideas with real children and their parents. We found that the same researched-based methods, for teaching children to compose their thoughts for speaking and writing, applied to teaching children to talk with God. Hence, the Prayers from the Heart books were born.
May God Bless You as He has blessed me.