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Kimberly Novak dives deep into God’s nudging her toward prayer through a surprising inanimate object. 

My husband and I love to browse antique shops, and most often, the time is spent window-shopping rather than making a purchase. However, I left the store with a few bags on a recent trip. I’m pretty sure my choices would not interest anyone, nor would they understand my reasons for buying these silly trinkets, except for the one item that has hit a sentimental chord within me. 

As we walked the isles, I saw a glimpse of a little ceramic boy positioned for prayer. His face was as innocent as they come, with eyes painted closed. He was dressed in clothing colored a soft blue.  I reacted with awe, indicating we had better get a closer look. We noticed a cord connected to the back as we approached the shelf he sat on. It was instantly apparent: this adorable little boy was a night light. 

I had to have it and gave no thought to my want. To this mom of three boys, the little statue was a reminder of them. It would be a heartfelt gesture, bringing joy to my heart. 

Once home, I set the praying boy in a place where I would see him often and where his light would shine as the room darkened. I can see him from the kitchen, the dining room, and a chair in the living room—places I am in most evenings when the sun sets and night falls. We have illuminated the light every evening since, re-creating that beautiful “awe” moment when I first saw him. 

On one particular evening, I was admiring him close up while in a moment of prayer, and wondered what about this little boy warmed my heart. Was it the hint of curl in his hair, the eyelashes extending over his closed eyes, the clasp of his hands, or simply the gesture of kneeling in prayer?  Or does it go more profound than how he is decorated or positioned? I concluded that it had to be about my being a mom and that my little boys were now all grown up.  I conceded that my impulse buy was an overemotional decision fueled by my longing to have the little ones back in the nest. 




In the days since, having the little boy light up on my counter has become more than that. When I look at him, I feel moved to pray. It has brought back memories of me as a little girl praying with my grandmother at her bedside, a memory fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday. It has also opened my eyes to how I could have done better as a mom teaching my kids to pray. I firmly believe that you can’t go back and that God has a path and a plan for everyone. I also think that reminiscences like the ones this little night light brings to my mind are for me to explore and perhaps even act upon. 

Short of calling up my now-adult children and asking them to kneel at their bedside, I wonder in what ways God is calling me through this inanimate object. As I experienced the urge to dive deeper into discernment about these feelings, I acted and reacted through prayer. After all, the fact that the little boy in blue is praying attracted me to it in the first place. Perhaps my imagination has gone into overdrive, and I am genuinely going deeper into my thoughts than God had intended. My purchasing this little gem might be a way for God to bring me into spontaneous prayer. As I turn the switch and the light illuminates the adorable boy, my heart wants to pray. 


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It is lovely to consider how God has used the not-so-ordinary to grab your attention. #CatholicMom


As a writer, I often focus on a muse, usually resulting in productivity. It would not surprise me that God gifted me the praying boy so I would pray. There are so many beautiful ways and places to pray. Though I never considered a child’s night light would pull me towards reflective time with God, it certainly has done the trick. I have learned never to second-guess where God is calling me and how He plans to get me there, as long as the result is His will and not my desires.  

It is lovely to consider how God has used the not-so-ordinary to grab your attention and what it is like when you make that connection. Study your prayer habits, and see if there are areas where God is trying to get your attention. God may use memories to nudge your heart in places you least expect.  



Copyright 2023 Kimberly Novak
Images: (top, bottom) Canva; (center) copyright 2023 Kimberly Novak, all rights reserved.