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Praying All Day

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, March 9.

By Andrew McChesney


ennifer is 12 years old and lives in northern India. More than anything, she likes to pray.

At home, Jennifer prays as soon as she gets up in the morning. “Thank you, Jesus, for the good night’s sleep,” she said on a recent morning, sitting on the brown-and-pink bedsheet on her bed. “Thank You for the new day,” Jennifer said, praying in Hindi, her native language. “Please bless me throughout the day. Please also bless my uncle, my aunt, my cousins, and our neighbors. Please especially bless Father and Mother. Amen.”

When Jennifer sat down for breakfast, she prayed. “Dear Jesus, bless this food. Amen,” she said, again speaking in Hindi.

Then she eagerly ate her breakfast of rice, dahl lentils, and chapati flatbread. She is an only child, and she eats breakfast with Mother. Father eats later.

When Jennifer was ready to leave for school, she prayed, again in Hindi.

“Dear Jesus, please bless the day,” she said. “Please help me as I learn in school today. Help me to remember what I have studied for my quiz today. Amen.”

Then she picked up her backpack filled with textbooks on Math, English, Social Studies, Sanskrit, and Handwriting. The backpack also contained pens, pencils, notebooks, and her lunchbox.

At school, 450 children gathered in a big room for morning worship. Jennifer often leads the children in prayer from the stage, and she did again that day. All the school classes are in English, and she prayed in English. “Our Father in heaven,” she said and then paused so the other children could repeat after her. “Our Father in heaven,” the 450 children repeated in chorus.

“Hallowed be Your name,” Jennifer said, and all the children repeated after her.

Together, Jennifer and the children completed the prayer, saying, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9­­–18, NKJV).

At 1 p.m., Jennifer unpacked her lunchbox in the school classroom and prayed. “Dear Jesus, bless this food. Amen,” she said, again in English. She had been studying in English all day, so it was easy to also pray in English. Then she ate her lunch of cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, and chapati flatbread.

In the afternoon, she had a math quiz. She prayed, “Dear Jesus, please help me to remember what I have studied and to get a good grade.”

At home, Father prayed for supper. He joined Jennifer and Mother for the meal of rice, paneer cheese, and vegetables. Jennifer liked to hear Father pray. “Dear Lord, please bless this food,” Father said in Hindi. “Bless the hands that prepared it. Bless those who have provided us with the food, and please give us good health as we eat. Amen.”

At bedtime, Jennifer prayed with Father and Mother at family worship. “The Creator of heaven and earth, we thank you for keeping us safe throughout the day,” Jennifer said in Hindi. Then she prayed for the family, for relatives, for neighbors, and for a good night’s rest.

After that, she lay down under her brown-and-pink bedsheet and closed her eyes to sleep. It had been a good day. It had been a day spent talking to Jesus.

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help construct a new school building for Jennifer and the other students in Anni, India. The 450 students now study in an old building that was built by a German missionary who founded the school in 1976. Thank you for helping give Jennifer and her classmates a new school building.