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Prayer Planes

It started with a pile of 11 x 17 inch copy paper and a box of craft stamps. We were watching the boys for four days and our daughter advised us, “they can have a quiet time in the afternoon; just give them a pile of books or a project to do, they’ll be fine.” Certainly Grandpa and Grandma needed a quiet hour! So the older boy took the paper and the stamps and camped in the living room.

An hour later, there was an immense pile of paper airplanes. “This size paper is great!” he said. He had made several styles: M—600L, M—700L and M—800L. Some were white tails, but others were designated – Italian Air, Cupcake Air. “Why Cupcake Air?” I said. He pointed to the line of cupcakes, red, blue and purple marching around the wings and fuselage and along the top. “Nice!” I said.

“Would you like to buy some?” he asked. He began writing prices on them. The white tails were for sale – 6 cents to 9 cents depending on the model and flight characteristics. If they flew straight and far, they got top dollar. If they spiraled in the air, he offered a discount. We settled on a good price and I purchased several.

Encouraged by brisk demand, my grandson spent the next quiet hour making more airplanes. He allowed me to name my own airline for some of them. I went for Mountain Air and Shepherd Air. Prices were good, quality was excellent and delivery was more than adequate so I bought several more.

This was taking place on a birthday weekend for my daughter. On her birthday, I began a daily habit of a special prayer focus on her to last for as many days as she had years. Then the big idea arose. I would write my prayers for her on my growing airplane collection. So, I took permanent markers and wrote out the founding Scripture for prayer each day. I love how writing words of Scripture imprints them on your mind! The Lord’s Prayer, Psalms 23, 51, 139, 127, Colossians 1 – these came up soon. I found that almost any passage I was reading whether in 1 Samuel or 1 Corinthians lent itself to prayer for my daughter.

At the end of that weekend, my grandson generously gave me permission to write my prayers even on Cupcake and Italian Air, even on the ones I hadn’t paid for, though I told him I preferred to pay and not offer to the Lord prayers that had cost me nothing.

The last three planes I “prayed” are not large white tails but small colored ones – 2 purple and 1 green. I changed my strategy a bit for these. Here’s how that came about.

In Bible Study recently, our leader chose Psalm 136 for our text. Here's a taste of it.

To Him who led His people through the wilderness For His lovingkindness is everlasting. And slew mighty kings For His lovingkindness is everlasting Sihon, king of the Amorites, For His lovingkindness is everlasting And Og, king of Bashan For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Inwardly, I groaned. I never dwelt on this psalm very much and what would we talk about? It repeats the same words over and over! But, once I got over myself and allowed the Lord to speak, I became entranced. Psalm 136 is great as a chant where the leader states a facet of God’s goodness and the congregation replies.

We Bible Study ladies wrote our own versions of Psalm 136 and we’ve been marveling at them. They range from personal to theological expressing how each of us is enthralled with God’s lovingkindness right now.

When Tim led worship at the end of May, I was struck by how Psalm 136 his prayer was. There was a little drone of music and Pastor Tim was thanking God in short phrases with rhythmic pauses. In every pause, “His mercy endures forever” came into my mind. THIS is Psalm 136 in action!

Back to planes. On the last three, purples and green, instead of Scripture, I wrote the “content” side of Psalm 136 for my daughter. Here’s a few snippets with the tag added:

You gave me a baby girl (for your mercy endures forever) A laughing toddler, a dancer (for your mercy endures forever) Discerning and capable (for your mercy endures forever) Thoughtful, compassionate (for your mercy endures forever)

I’ve now used up all my airplanes and am ordering more for delivery next weekend. For His mercy endures forever!

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