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I never thought of myself as a naughty child, and I have no idea what had transpired that particular day—only that Mother was away at a meeting and our live-in Auntie had read us a bedtime story and tucked us into bed.
Alone with my thoughts, it came to me that just because Mother and Daddy were Christians and I’d always gone to church, that did not make me a Christian. That decision, I realized, was one I had to make for myself.
In all of my eight years of life, I knew I’d never done that.
Lying there in my bed, I just talked to Jesus and told Him I was sorry for all the bad things I’d done. I asked Him to forgive me and live in my life so I could be good—and one day see Him in Heaven. At the end of that prayer, I was amazed by the overwhelming sense I had of being absolutely sparkling clean, inside and out. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before and quite thrilling. I was different now. I knew God had heard and answered my timid prayer.
Since my seven-year-old brother and I shared a bedroom, I whispered over to see if he was still awake. Without asking any questions, he groggily complied with my request to sing an old Sunday school song: “Into my heart, into my heart,
come into by heart, Lord Jesus. Come in today, come in to stay. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.” Then we both rolled over and went to sleep.
“Into my heart, into my heart, come into by heart, Lord Jesus. Come in today, come
in to stay. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”
The next morning I was telling Mother about my prayer. Her immediate concern was, “Who helped you?” That made me worry a bit that I had possibly done something wrong—to pray that prayer to Jesus all by myself. But then I decided it didn’t matter if I had followed anybody’s expectations or not: I knew God had done something to make me “sparkling clean” in His sight and I was happily content that it was not wrong.
Although it was not in my mind that night, I’ve come to recognize that no longer having an earthly father (he was killed in France during WWII, when I was just 4 years old) has made it even more comforting and encouraging to now have a heavenly Father who cares for and loves me even more than my earthly father ever could have.
Alice Davis is a retired linguist/translator with Wycliffe Bible Translators
Never underestimate the power of your story!
Telling our stories helps others to know us better and gives them a real-life picture of what it looks like to personally experience God’s grace—telling them how being a Christian is not about what we do, but what God did for us.
What story could you tell?
Visit our Stories page at wheatonbible.org/Stories and share your story of how God has changed/is changing your life!