My co-worker and fellow blogger shared this article with me in which the columnist challenged people, in the new year and the new decade, to look at a few things through fresh eyes. The writer listed 52 suggestions, one for every week of the year. This week’s topic is prayer.
The last few months David has led us in praying before every meal — something I used to do inconsistently at best but more accurately just didn’t do. It helps to be eating consistently around the table together, which has been another positive change of late. Everyone sitting in the living room with the TV on and all eating at different places and times isn’t very conducive to a group prayer.
When we started out, the boys wanted to say their preschool prayers — God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food” or the little song “God our Father (God our Father) we give thanks (we give thanks) for our many blessings (for our many blessings) Ah-ah-men (ah-ah-men).” But with David and I speaking “real” prayers, not poems or songs, the boys have taken an interest in praying more like that too. So once all the food is served, “Who wants to say the blessing?” we’ll ask, and immediately “I do” “I do” and their little hands are raised.
They often forget to say thanks for the food (which is supposed to be the point, but oh well), but they will say thanks for their mom and their brother and their favorite toy and ask God to make their brother be nice and share his toys. I don’t stop them from praying those prayers because it’s what’s on their little 7-year-old and 5-year-old hearts and it’s them talking to their God. When Caden at times gets too silly I’ll correct him that prayer is talking to God and not something to be acting goofy while doing.
Because one thing I want them to get is that praying is just talking to God. Simple and true. It doesn’t require poetry or song or a bunch of thou’s and Holy Father’s peppered through out, it’s just talking to Him. It’s praising Him, thanking Him, confessing to Him when we’ve done wrong, asking Him for help and blessing, talking to Him about what’s on our hearts and minds. We were created for fellowship with Him and prayer is a big, big part of how we do that.
“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.'”
— Matthew 6:9-13