On our camping trip last weekend, after trying for over an hour to get our baby girl to fall asleep in the strange confines of a tent and sleeping bag, I started praying. Out loud. While I held my squirming, crying, over-tired little girl in my arms.
Laying down with her hadn't worked. Neither had singing or sitting by the campfire quietly or anything else we could think of.
I was desperate, so I prayed.
And immediately, she stilled in my arms. I prayed for a few moments, asking God for a good night's sleep, for Ellie to feel safe and loved. When I said "Amen," Ellie's little head popped up off my shoulder, and she gave the sign for "more," pushing her little fingers together in front of her.
"You want me to pray more?" I asked, surprised.
"Yeah," she said.
And so I prayed. I prayed for our friends, for people who wanted to have babies and for people who were sad. I prayed for her grandparents. I prayed for our small group. She lay still with her head on my shoulder, and her breathing slowed, her body became heavier. I lowered my voice to a whisper, but I kept praying.
I prayed my baby to sleep. Praying calmed her like nothing else had.
It was a sweet, sacred moment in our tiny tent in a little Virginia campground. Outside, children laughed and campfires danced. Inside, a weary Mommy and a frantically tired baby prayed their way to peace.