"Dear Jesus, Thank you for this day. Have a good day. Thank you for Mom. I'm just going to pray for you Mom, ok? Amen."
The girls' prayers are only slightly more sophisticated, including concerns for "no bad dreams," and prayers lifted up for missionaries, family members and hurting families in our church.
But, one night, it was getting late and I suggested that the girls pray on their own. Later, they told me that they got out the children's Bible and found the Lord's prayer.
How in the world did they find the Lord's prayer? Ok, the oldest "knows" the books of the Bible and John 3:16, but I don't think she knows WHERE to find specific verses! On Sunday morning I have to help her find the passage in the index and then she can look up the chapter and verse and I seriously do NOT remember ever talking about the Lord's prayer with her. So, you tell me, how did she find it?
Well, they found the page with the Lord's prayer and Cutie Bug began to read it aloud for her little sister (who also has verses memorized, but cannot yet read). She read a line and Missy repeated it. They prayed through the prayer together, not knowing what "hallowed" meant or why to ask "lead us not into temptation."
The next night they told me they found a prayer in the Bible and prayed it together. Could we do it again? It occurred to me that "lead us not into temptation," though difficult to understand, was better than "have a good day."
Some people teach their children memorized prayers for grace or bedtime, but I've always wanted them to learn to talk to Jesus openly from their hearts. But, instead they've still said rote prayers, just the ones they made up, instead of something someone else made up. They're still learning what prayer is all about.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. I think my children were asking Jesus to teach them how to pray as well. And He answered. He lead them to His pages of prayer education and they are learning.
Matthew 6: 9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.