When my son was just a tot, he only prayed one prayer whenever it was his turn: “Dear Jesus—hold my hand, please.”
That was it.
Trying to figure out where this had come from, we could only imagine that his Sunday school teacher must have frequently paused as she began class prayer in order to get her little charges in order by having them hold hands. Apparently our son interpreted her hand-holding request as part of the prayer. We thought it was funny.
In retrospect, it’s not a bad prayer. Actually, it’s a pretty good prayer. Do you know Jesus is in the hand-holding business? In a brief search, I found at least five examples in the Bible. Notice that every one of these results is healing and life.
1. The Apostle Peter’s sick mother-in-law: “And he [Jesus] came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them” (Mark 1:31 ESV).
2. The dead daughter of Jairus, the synagogue ruler: “he [Jesus] went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose” (Matthew 9:25).
3. The boy with an unclean spirit: After Jesus cast out the spirit, the people thought the boy was dead, “But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose” (Mark 9:27).
4. The blind man whose friends brought him to Jesus: “And he [Jesus] took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village…,” where Jesus healed him (Mark 8:23).
5. Peter, when he walked on the water with Jesus but cried out for help as he began to sink: “Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him…” (Matthew 14:31). So maybe Jesus grabbed him by the shoulder or the robe, but I always picture them grasping hands here.
In addition, the Apostle John quotes Jesus, who is using the analogy of a shepherd (Jesus) with his sheep, as saying, “I give them [my sheep] eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). In other words, Jesus has incredible grip strength.
Hundreds of years earlier, in a song of praise to God, Israel’s King David claimed that no matter where he went, “even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:10). Like Father, like Son! They don’t let go.
All this to say, moms, we can confidently pray, and teach our children to confidently pray, “Dear Jesus, hold my hand, please!”