Some time last night Emma let the cats out. Roli came in an hour or so later, of his own accord, but Patrick was out all night and all day. We've been calling and searching for him, and I was really starting to worry. Every time we set foot out the door Emma would call worriedly, "Patrick! Patrick!" I think she felt bad that she let him out and now he was lost.
Tonight we went out to get some dessert (mainly just for me to get out.) While we were on our way, Emma was calling for Patrick as we stopped at every corner. It was rather heartrending. Jeff said, "You know what we haven't done and should try? We can pray for Patrick to come back." Well, it worked with my cell phone!
So when we came in, before we had our dessert, we had a family prayer and included a plea for the safe return of Patrick. Emma was not behaving very well during the prayer, and while I went in the bedroom with my cake, she and Abba had a bit of a talk. He reminded her of how we should behave during a prayer and she said, "I will say a nice prayer now." So she did. She prayed, "Heavenly Father, thank you for George [her Curious George movie she watched today, or her Curious George shoes? I'm not really sure], please take care the cat, he will come home. Name Jesus Christ, Amen."
As she said her prayer, Jeff felt he should open the front door. He's not really sure if he heard a "meow" or if it was just an impression to go to the door-- but Patrick was at the front door! After hours of worry, calling, searching, fearing the worst, he was returned to us unharmed, immediately after we prayed. "Ask and ye shall receive!" We were overjoyed and explained to Emma what had happened, that Patrick came home because Heavenly Father watched over him and answered our prayers. We then knelt again for a prayer of thanksgiving. My heart is so full that my eyes are welling up as I write. I am truly, truly grateful that he is safe-- and that Emma is learning of the value of prayer.