Nine times seven is sixty-three. Six times eight is … forty-two? No, that’s not right!
Luca furiously erased his answer.
“Time!” Luca’s teacher called. “Everyone pass in your tests.”
Oh no! Luca thought. But I’m not even done!
Luca sighed as he handed in his test. He had to get a 90 percent on his timed tests to pass his multiplication tables and become a class Multiplication Master. But he just didn’t know how he was going to do it!
Luca’s head popped up. That was the answer! Prayer!
Luca started praying every day to do well on his timed multiplication test. This would work. It had to work. He would finally become a Multiplication Master!
On Tuesday, Luca came home from school and grabbed his basketball.
“Do you need help studying?” Mom asked.
“Nope! I’ve got it taken care of!” Luca said as he ran out the door. He believed so much in prayer that he didn’t even take out his flash cards to practice his math.
On Friday, Luca knew he was going to pass the test. But when he sat down to take it, the answers just didn’t come, and he did even worse than before!
Luca walked home from the bus stop with his head down. He had prayed so hard to be a Multiplication Master. Why didn’t Heavenly Father answer his prayer?
When he got home, he shot baskets until Dad came home from work. Dad honked the car horn as he pulled up.
“How was school?” Dad asked, walking over.
“Not very good,” Luca said, looking down. “I can’t pass my multiplication test.”
“That sounds pretty discouraging,” said Dad. He held up his hands for a pass.
“I should have passed!” Luca said. “I prayed and everything. Dad, you said that Heavenly Father answers prayers. He definitely didn’t answer mine today!”
“Did you practice with your flash cards?” Dad asked.
“Did you study?”
“No,” said Luca. “But I prayed all week!”
Dad dribbled the ball and looked at Luca. “Well, multiplication is kind of like basketball. How did you get so good at basketball?”
“I practiced,” said Luca.
“Yes, and so when we pray for Heavenly Father to help you before your games, we’re not praying for Him to magically make you a better basketball player. What do we pray for?”
“For me to remember what I practiced,” Luca said.
“Right. Prayer works best when we do our part and also ask Heavenly Father to help us.”
“So my part is studying my flash cards?” Luca asked.
“Exactly,” said Dad, passing the ball back to Luca.
Luca heaved a big sigh and took a shot. The ball bounced off the rim. “So … I should study hard and ask Heavenly Father to help me.”
“There you go!” said Dad. “Now, are you ready for a little one-on-one?”
Luca grinned and stole the ball from Dad. “Sure! As long as you help me study at the same time.”
“You’re on,” said Dad. “Six times five is?”
“Thirty!” Luca took another shot. This time it swished through the hoop.
Between practice and prayer, maybe he would become a Multiplication Master after all.
Heavenly Father’s Help
Once I wanted to learn how to do the monkey bars, but I fell. So I tried again, but I fell again. I could only get to the third bar. I prayed to Heavenly Father to help me be brave. After my prayer, I felt ready to try again. This time I made it to the fourth bar! Then the fifth! I was getting better! I knew Heavenly Father would help me be brave enough to keep trying so I could get better.
Lily S., age 7, Arkansas, USA