And When You Pray...
It's Saturday morning at the Barclay household. Jimmy is sitting by himself in the garage. Donna enters and tells Jimmy to shovel the snow off the sidewalk to prepare for their grandfather's visit that evening. Donna wants to know why Jimmy's out there. Jimmy says he's waiting for a bicycle. He prayed hard for one the previous evening. His friend Brad prayed for a bike and got one, so Jimmy believes it'll happen to him, too.
Donna is skeptical. She tells Jimmy prayer doesn't work that way. But Jimmy sticks to his guns. And that night, Grandpa Barclay informs Jimmy that while cleaning out the basement, he found George's old bicycle and thought Jimmy would like to have it.
Donna is stunned — Jimmy's prayer really worked! So, in bed that night, she decides to give it a try herself. As a test, she prays that God will make it rain on Monday so she won't have to go out for gym class, which she hates. To prove she really believes in the power of prayer, she dresses for school on Monday in a raincoat and galoshes. Everyone thinks Donna's crazy, including her mother and especially her gym teacher, Mrs. Butchfield. Mrs. Butchfield orders Donna out of the rain gear and into her gym outfit. Donna is bitterly disappointed and believes that God doesn't really answer prayer.
Later that day, she and Jimmy go to Whit's End. Whit has heard about Donna's prayer fiasco and is working on an invention to better explain the nature of prayer. It's a vending machine for prayers. You decide on a prayer, push a button, and out comes the answer. Jimmy thinks it's great, but Donna is understandably skeptical.
Then Whit tells them it's a joke, but says many people do think that God will give us what we want if we just push the right prayer buttons. Whit sets Jimmy and Donna straight about the real meaning of prayer. Donna says she understands — right as a peal of thunder sounds and a rainstorm begins. Doesn't God have a wonderful sense of humor?
- Did God really answer Jimmy’s prayer, or was it a coincidence that he received a bike?
- What was wrong with the way Donna prayed?
- What about Connie?
- What do your motives have to do with prayer?
- Read Mark 11:24. What do you think Jesus meant?
- VERSION DIFFERENCE: At the end of the broadcast version of this episode, Chris and her mailman Randall read some letters to AIO.
- This episode was used in Radio Scripts, Volume 1.
- AIO Update: Read
QuotesDonna Barclay: How do you pray, Connie?
Connie Kendall: On my knees. I used to try it flat on my back, but I kept falling asleep.
Jimmy Barclay: See, Donna? All you need is a mustard jar.
Donna Barclay: Mustard seed, Jimmy. Mustard seed.
Jimmy Barclay: Wow! What is that?
John Whittaker: Nothing right now. Maybe you should ask what it's going to be.
Jimmy Barclay: All right. What's it going to be?
John Whittaker: A vending machine.
Jimmy Barclay: A vending machine? You mean for Cokes and candy bars and stuff like that?
John Whittaker: Nope. For prayers.
John Whittaker: I've got a button for just about everything. Money when you don't need it, good grades on a test you didn't study for, the latest fashions, the newest toys, popularity. <chuckles> What should I add?
Jimmy Barclay: Boy, I can think of a whole bunch of things!
John Whittaker: What is prayer?
Jimmy Barclay: It's talking to God.
John Whittaker: Close, but no. How about talking with God?