“Just a Prayer Away,” Friend, October 2019
Prodi sat up in bed with a jolt. His heart was beating fast.
Rain pattered on the roof as he sat in the darkness. He could hear water dripping from the African fig tree outside his window, and the air felt sticky and warm. Prodi took a deep breath and tried to relax. It was just a dream.
He crawled out of bed and peeked at his parents. Mama and Papa were sleeping peacefully. His little sister, Célia, was curled up in her bed too. Everything was OK. His family was safe.
Prodi climbed back into bed and tried to go back to sleep. He tossed and turned, then tossed and turned some more. He knew his dream wasn’t real, but it had been so scary! Even though he was tired, he was afraid to fall asleep again. What if he had another nightmare?
Prodi lay on his back and looked at the ceiling. He tried to think of happy thoughts. Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every child’s prayer? A wave of warmth came over Prodi as he thought of the words of his favorite Primary song. Sister Kioska had taught them that Heavenly Father was always watching over them. They could pray to Him anytime, anywhere.
Prodi knew what to do. He got out of bed and knelt down to pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father,” he prayed, “I’m really scared. Please keep my family safe. And please help me to go to sleep and not have any more bad dreams.”
Prodi finished his prayer and climbed back in bed. His body relaxed, and his mind felt peaceful. Soon he was asleep.
When morning came, Prodi woke up to the warm sun shining through the window. He could hear pots clanging in the kitchen. Célia was at the table eating leftover cassava. Mama was warming some up for him to eat too.
“Bonjour,” Mama said. “How did you sleep?”
“I had a really scary nightmare,” Prodi said. “But then I said a prayer. Heavenly Father helped me feel safe.”
“I’m sorry you had a bad dream,” Mama said. She hugged Prodi close and didn’t let go for a long time. “But I’m so glad you said a prayer. It sounds like praying really helped you.”
“It did,” said Prodi. “I was able to fall asleep again, and I didn’t have any more bad dreams.” Prodi hugged Mama tight. He was glad to know that no matter how scared he felt, Heavenly Father was just a prayer away.