The Praying Squirrel

The Praying Squirrel

"Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!"  Matthew 26:41 NLT


 Even squirrels pray when danger is imminent.


Our state is overrun with squirrels, most of which can't be controlled because they reside in the city limits where it is against the law to fire guns and kill them. While cute, their most annoying habit is making a mess at bird feeders so they can get to the sunflower seeds.


Squirrels are also frequently seen crossing roads and lying dead on them. Recently while on our way to church, one squirrel sat in his prayer stance as we approached. Instead of running as we neared, he continued to pray. My wife remarked as we closed in on him, "What are you doing squirrel? Praying that I don't hit you." At the last moment, he put feet on his prayers and scampered into the woods.


Jesus wanted His disciples to put feet on their prayers, but they slept instead. He was agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane, about to face the grueling acts of beating, betraying, ridiculing, and being crucified. Rather than praying as He commanded, they gave into the temptation to sleep. And because they did, Jesus faced His agony alone.


For my prayers to work, I have to believe prayer works. That praying is not just a religious exercise, but that my words really do make it to the ears of my heavenly Father. If I don't pray believing, I won't be receiving. Praying takes work. Rarely is it convenient. It wasn't for the disciples. Sleeping was easier and more convenient. Jesus' agony and bloody sweat evidenced work. Having a daily prayer time and remaining in a spirit of prayer throughout the day don't just happen.


I have to plan and be intentional. Effective prayers involve courage. The squirrel stood in his ground in the face of danger. I must pray for courage to face temptation, trials, and enemies of the gospel. God promises to answer the prayers of His people. It may not be the answer we seek, but His answers are according to His will and in our best interests. Instinct (answered prayer) moved the squirrel to scurry out of harm's way. Once we get God's answers, He expects us to put feet on our prayers. To get out of the road and head for the woods. Prayers lead to actions. Otherwise, they are just wasted breath. Pray often, and act in the same manner. Prayer: Father, draw us often to Your throne of grace so we might find wisdom, courage, and direction for life.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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