Max, my 8-year-old miniature Labradoodle, was dying. He'd lost a lot of fur and almost half of his body weight. Now, he lay listless on the floor beside me.
I reached down to pet him, "Sorry you're feeling so bad," I said before sending up another prayer, "Lord, please help my dog to get better."
I have to admit, I felt a little guilty spending one of my prayers on my dog. Shouldn't I be praying for world peace, or at least that the Lord would help a hurting friend?
But I just couldn't help myself. My beautiful dog had shrunk from 40 to 24 pounds. And it was his own fault. He had a thing for chicken bones stolen from our bear-proof trashcan. He'd wait till we went to bed, pad his way down the stairs and sneak up on his shiny silver prey. He stepped on the pedal at the base of the can and when the lid popped open, he'd tug the garbage bag filled with bones onto the floor, then gobble them as fast as he could.
I'd scold him in morning's light. "Dogs aren't supposed to eat chicken bones!"
He'd reply by licking his pink tongue across his black, furry face.
Then one day, his stomach became upset. It stayed upset for the next 18 months, and nothing seemed to help.
As a matter of last resort, I tried an organic kibble a friend recommended.
But three days later, Max was sicker than ever. I knew it would only be a matter of days before we'd lose him. But I suddenly had an idea: I could try feeding him a crockpot chicken soup; a special recipe for dogs where you add two cups of rice and three chicken breasts to a large crockpot filled with water. I followed the recipe, and five hours later, I flaked the chicken and stirred the mash together.
Max ate my chicken soup and miraculously kept his dinner down! I continued to feed Max this dish until his naked tail sprouted fur and his coat begin to fill in with black velvet. One day, he even felt like playing fetch again.
A month later, I took Max back to the vet. When the doctor saw him, she was stunned. She sat down on the floor with him. "Look at you, bud, you're well!" she said, as Max wagged his furry tail.
So, is it OK to pray for pets? Yes, it's OK to pray for anything that is on your heart. After all, God not only created animals, but He's interested in the things you're interested in. So when you pray, pray for the provisions you need, your family members, your church, nation, hurting friends and world peace—only don't forget to pray for your pet.
God's grace is big enough to cover your prayers for even the little paws in your life.
Linda Evans Shepherd is a nationally known Christian speaker and a best-selling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries, founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder of GodTest.com. Her latest book is Winning Your Daily Spiritual Battles.
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