Fact: Prayer is powerful. I grew up with praying parents and married a praying man and that has made all the difference in my life and outlook on the ups and downs that come with it. So when I became a mama, one of the first things I thought about was how important it was to teach Annie to pray from a young age. We began by praying at meals and before bed, helping her fold her hands and showing her how we close our eyes. Gradually she caught on, starting to put her hands together and shouting “Amen!” at the conclusion of every pray said at church, much to the amusement of anyone sitting anywhere near us. I began to talk to her about what prayer is – it’s talking to God.
A couple weeks ago we were praying as a family before bedtime and began to mimic Taylor as he prayed so he paused to let her continue:
“Thank you….God…Mama…ketchup and french fries!”
Out of the mouth of babes – she was thanking God for her new favorite treat she had for the first time that day. I blamed Baby Bell #2 for the constant french fries craving but praised God for her sweet baby heart. She was learning what it meant to talk to God.
The other night we prayed before dinner and Annie put her little hands together and closed her eyes so tight. She screamed “Amen” with joy and then dug into her pb&j. A few minutes later, she got really quiet, put her hands together and closed her eyes once again. Next thing we knew she was praying solo:
She cheered and we cheered right along with her and if I’m being honest, I held back the tears. Not even two years old and she’s already learning the importance of talking to God, for thanking Him for all our blessings and remembering Him often. Every day since then she’s been working on her prayers, praying now for every family member individually including our puppy, Buddy and “baby brudda.”
Don’t you know God is smiling the biggest smile when he hears her sweet, simple baby prayers? We are taught to pray without ceasing, but often times we grown-ups make it too complicated. Such an abstract, personal practice is really more simple than we often make it. Prayer is so many things but in its simplest form it’s us talking to our Father. With each prayer we utter, long or short or in-between, God is glorified and we are changed. Not sure where to start? Take a cue from Annie and simply thank Him – for those you love and just maybe, ketchup and french fries.