Now and then a Primary child speaks in church here in Tonga. Recently little 9-year old ‘Ofa (means “love”) spoke about the power of prayer. I offer her story in her own words (edited with her mother):
When I was six, I found out how important prayer is. My family van was broken, and my mom was sick. It was raining very hard, and the wind was very strong. I had no raincoat, I had no umbrella. My family had no telephone to call a taxi to take me to school. It was very important for me to go to school that day, because I had a test to take. But this was a hard day, because there was no help for me. I didn't want to get wet on the way to school and have to spend the whole day in wet clothes - I might get sick.
My dad had already left to go to work, and I was very sad. I stood beside my mom and cried. But then I got a very strong feeling that I should say a prayer. I looked at my mom. She told me we needed to kneel down and say a prayer together. Even though I was still crying, I said the prayer. I asked Heavenly Father, “Please help me go to school today.”
Even before I finished my prayer, I could hear that the rain had stopped. I said “Amen” and looked out the window. The wind was still blowing very hard. The sky was still dark, but there was no rain. My brother, my mom and I stood in the doorway and said another prayer, this time thanking Heavenly Father for stopping the rain. My brother and I ran all the way to school.
As soon as I entered my classroom, the heavy rains began again, and continued all morning. Because of this experience, my faith grew. I knew after that day that I have a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers my prayers. My mom told me that President Kimball used to compare prayer to an umbrella or raincoat to protect us from danger. On that day when I was six, I found out that I didn’t need an umbrella or a raincoat, as long as I remembered to pray, and exercise my faith.
I testify that Heavenly Father answers prayers. I know the power of prayer. I am now working on my Faith in God program, and because of prayer, I feel I am closer to my Father in Heaven, and I can feel that he really loves me.
This little message brings me peace, because it makes me remember that God knows each one of us by name. We are truly his children, and because he is a loving Father, he knows our names, he knows what we need (and not just what we want), and he knows how and when to help us. Thank heaven for little girls who teach me such wonderful things.