J. Lee Grady on Don’t Underestimate the Power of ‘Small’ Prayers

Fred Rogers on the set of his show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood from the film, ‘WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?’, a Focus Features release. (Jim Judkis/Focus Features )

The new film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood celebrates TV’s famous Mister Rogers by looking at how his Christian kindness impacted the life of a cynical journalist who was assigned to write about him. In one scene, Fred Rogers (played by Tom Hanks) is shown kneeling by his bed, praying with a note pad and mentioning the journalist by name.

That scene was not fiction. Roger’s wife, Joanne, told Religion News Service that her Presbyterian husband—who died in 2003—got up every morning at 5:15 to pray before he went to the studio to record his legendary kids’ show. She said Rogers always read his Bible and used a legal pad to write down the names of people he wanted to pray for. This was his spiritual routine for years.

In the movie, the writer, Lloyd Vogel, experiences a conversion of sorts. After meeting Rogers, he forgives his cruel father and becomes a better husband and dad to his own infant son. The message of the film is that Rogers’ caring attitude—along with his simple prayers—transformed a man’s life.

Can a short prayer change someone’s life, even if it’s just the mention of a name scribbled on a note pad?

In my early years, I was tempted to believe that prayers had to be long, drawn-out and intense in order to be effective. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I even tried a 10-day fast.

But when I look at the apostle Paul, who is surely the New Testament authority on powerful prayer, I see that he not only fasted and travailed in prayer for hours, but he also offered God many short requests. I don’t know if he had a prayer list scribbled on a piece of parchment, but he knew the power of mentioning.

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SOURCE: Charisma News