Flashlight Night by Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a children’s picture book. It’s recommended for children from three to seven. But the lessons that it teaches apply to everyone.
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The characters in the book are two young children and their Mom. Mom has turned a wall of their house into a giant chalkboard. And she has her kids write out their prayers on it. So they put down their hopes and dreams. And Mom also has them write down the challenges they’re facing and the things they’re worried about.
Mom tells the kids that they’re going to turn all these things over to God and ask him to take care of them. That’s a great way of teaching them 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
When they come back to check on their prayers, it’s “Flashlight Night.” Mom asks them if they can see their prayers, and they say “yes.” The children have flashlights. Mom turns off the overhead light and tells them, “Now flash your light on the prayers where you see God’s great big YES! And turn your flashlight off where your yes has not come yet.”
This blackboard thing is a great way of teaching the children Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
My wife Marie and I have three daughters, eleven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. And most of them come to our house each week for Sunday dinner.
I liked Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s idea so much that I appropriated it and modified it for our family to use. So, I bought a large blackboard and put it on our dining room wall. And I invited everyone to write their prayer requests on it. So we can pray for the same things at the same time. This is working out well for us, and it’s making us better pray-ers.