It was a typical December morning in my second grade classroom. I was busy checking homework and collecting lunch money. When I got to Alex’s desk, he looked up teary-eyed and said, “Mrs. Sciscoe, my tummy really hurts”. I felt his head for fever and told him I was sorry but that the nurse was not in today. Reluctantly I told him, “I don’t have anything to help you, Alex”. The Holy Ghost smote me and prompted me to ask if Alex wanted me to pray for him. He readily said, “Yes”. I quietly leaned over him and prayed.
As I finished, Josh, the boy sitting next to Alex, asked, “Mrs. Sciscoe what were you doing?” “Alex has a really bad stomachache and I was praying for him,” I replied. “What’s that?” Josh asked. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Here in America, in the Bible Belt, a seven-year-old boy did not even know what it meant to pray? I was dumbfounded and saddened by the reality of his words. I explained to him that praying was talking to God and since God was the one that made Alex’s tummy, I was asking God to make it better. With big eyes, Josh looked up at me and said, “Well, does it work?” “Yes, it does, Josh. We’ll ask Alex in a little while,” I answered.
I finished up some duties all the while praying under my breath that the Lord would show two little boys just how much He cared about them and to show them His power to heal through prayer. A few minutes later I noticed Alex perking up. I went to him and asked him if his stomach was still hurting. He said, “No, I feel better.” I winked at Josh and said, “See, it works.” Satisfied, Josh smiled. I could tell he was going to try it next time.
I went home that night burdened and began to ask God to help me transmit something to these children that would benefit them when the science and math lessons were all forgotten. He impressed me to start a bus route to afford these children the opportunity to learn to pray.
I tried to imagine what it would be like to be a child and not know how to pray. I simply couldn’t. I thought back to my own childhood and reflected on the times, too many to count, when my parents prayed with me. Some of my earliest memories are that of my parents praying over me. In the Brown household, prayer preceded every decision, big or small. We prayed about everything. Though my parents were very busy in kingdom work, they were never too busy to pray. Prayer was a priority that was taught by example. Though I don’t actually remember lining up my dollies to pray, I know where I got the idea.
I began to reflect on the many family devotions that my dad led. He always made sure they were exciting and practical. Each family member took a part. They were centered on the Word, prayer and a song or two.
It didn’t matter what social event was taking place, nobody was allowed to miss family devotion. They were wonderful times of bonding, learning and sharing that forever weaved moral and spiritual principles into my character.
Throughout my teenage years I leaned heavily on the pattern of prayer to guide my decisions about friends, education, and a career. As a young single, prayer was my lifeline as I fulfilled a dream and a call to do missions work in Puerto Rico and in Spain. It was in prayer that I got my direction, my joy and my strength. It was in prayer that God took my loneliness and traded it for friendship with Him. It was in prayer that God gave me a burden for lost souls.
On May 3, 1996 I married my prayer partner, Jason Sciscoe. I’ll never forget on my wedding day as my dad soberly transmitted his spiritually authority and responsibility for me to my husband. My dad reminded us of the very first moment they brought me home from the hospital, laid their newborn in the middle of their bed and gave me to God. Truly my path has been blessed because of parents who taught me to pray.
The best way I can say thanks is to pass this beautiful heritage onto others.
The Church Triumphant